John Hamilton, working as a fitness coordinator at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., was on a quest to further develop his career in sports and fitness. A homework lab technician for youth at Fort Stewart, Ga., Mary Kane was searching for a way to move into management.
Both Hamilton and Kane, working as management trainees in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, are on the fast track to their respective career goals, thanks to their participation in the U.S. Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Management Trainee Program. The two are among nine Army MWR management trainees in Germany.
The management trainee program recruits, hires, and develops college students and graduates, wounded warriors and current or former NAF employees in MWR functional areas. Family and MWR also has a NAF Developmental Chef Program, with a training location at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch.
In USAG Stuttgart, there are management trainees in Child, Youth and School Services and Community Recreation. But the Army MWR program hires management trainees in other areas including sports and fitness management, outdoor recreation, NAF contracting, marketing, financial management, NAF human resources, professional golf management, golf superintendent and food and beverage.
Kane, a management trainee with CYS Services, is nearing the end of her two-year on-the-job training under the supervision of Suzanne King, USAG Stuttgart CYS Services Coordinator, who also completed the MWR management trainee program.
Come July, Kane will embark upon a career in a location in which there is a vacancy in her specialty.
“I’ve worked in all of the MWR facilities and have done everything from financial management and inspections to special events,” Kane said. “I’ve had lots of hands-on opportunities in CYS Services and throughout MWR.”
Hamilton, with aspirations of being an installation sports and fitness director, will complete his first year of training in July. “Sports and fitness is my heart — my bread and butter —and I see these two years as a chance to shadow, learn and progress to be successful,” said Hamilton, a Community Recreation management trainee. “I’m acting like a sponge — getting as much training as possible.”
USAG Stuttgart MWR Community Recreation Chief Ron Paoletti, Hamilton’s trainer, lauded the management trainee program for its thorough preparation of future MWR leaders. “It’s a great training program that covers all of the bases needed,” said Paoletti, whose daughter is a management trainee in Ansbach. “It’s a great staffing resource and a way to get fresh energy. John is highly motivated, a great success story and a stellar example of the kind of creative, energetic people we love to have in MWR.”
About 2,000 applicants each year vie for 20 management trainee positions and eight developmental chef slots. Job announcements are posted once a year between July and September. The first round of selections is made around October and November for the January class and February and March for the July class.
“The application and selection process is getting more and more competitive,” said Christine Charles, USAG Stuttgart NAF Human Resources Officer. “What’s great about the program is that they learn about a specific track, but also many other areas. Completing the program is a guaranteed promotion to a management position.”
But there is no guarantee that the location of the management trainee’s internship will also be the place in which the trainee lands a position upon completion of the program, Charles said. Management trainees must sign mobility agreements.
Kane, who is currently performing the duties of assistant director of the Kelley Child Development Center Annex, said she is ready for the next step in her management trek as she nears the end of her training. “I believe I will have walked away with a great deal of knowledge, training and access to resources. I’ve literally had two years to grow and develop into being a good manager.”
For more information on the Army MWR Management Trainee Program, go to www.fmwrctraineeprogram.com.