February 4, 2023

Wounded Soldier Spearheads NAVAIR’s Security Training

Jason Pierce, NAVAIR's SPeD program manager, is leading the Navy in a Department of Defense initiative to professionally certify the security workforce. (U.S. Navy photo)

A NAVAIR program manager and Army veteran is leading the Navy in a Department of Defense initiative to professionally certify the security workforce.

Jason Pierce, who was medically discharged from the Army in December 2009 after being wounded in Afghanistan, began working as the SPeD program manager at NAVAIR in September 2011.

SPeD, or the Security Professional Education Development Program, includes a four-tiered certification program that is part of the DoD’s initiative to professionalize the security workforce. The program’s objective is to develop and strengthen a common set of core competencies among security practitioners and facilitate interoperability, professional development and training, and the certification of security professionals at four progressive levels. While two of the certification tiers are still in development, the first two levels have been implemented. Within each tier, there are five core areas of expertise: information, personnel, physical, industrial and general security.

NAVAIR, with Jason at the program’s helm, leads the Navy in implementing this initiative.

Rising to the Top
Pierce has been invited to serve as the Navy’s representative for the SPeD initiatives at semimonthly meetings within the DoD security community and work with the Army and Air Force on a tri-service committee.

Within NAVAIR, Pierce identified all the security specialist positions requiring SPeD certification and determined the appropriate certification levels for each. He helps ensure NAVAIR’s programs and business units have support to implement SPeD enterprise-wide. And, he developed the annual mandatory security refresher training for all NAVAIR personnel and co-writes a monthly security newsletter.

Pierce is also a member of NAVAIR’s New Leader Program, a six-month, part-time leadership development program designed to develop future leaders by providing assessment, experiential learning and individual development opportunities. He advises veterans, and all job seekers, not to filter out potential career choices that may seem too difficult or because they believe they are under qualified.

Hiring and Retaining Wounded Warriors
Pierce was hired under NAVAIR’s Wounded Warrior Program, which seeks to recruit, hire, train and retain wounded warriors from across the United States. In fiscal year 2011, NAVAIR hired 586 veterans.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) recently published a reference guide, “From Wounded Warrior to Civilian Employee,” with information on how to successfully support veterans like Pierce who have transitioned to the civilian workplace.

Learn more about NAVAIR’s Wounded Warrior Program or email [email protected].

Source: NAVAIR Headquarters

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