Building Core Competencies


In the wake of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, the United States Coast Guard was dealing with a rush of new recruits and needed to update several of their instructor-led training programs. They asked Russ to lead a team of instructional designers, subject matter experts, course developers, editors, and alternative media specialists in the redesign and development of two of their “A” schools – Health Services and Food Services. Russ and his team also performed front-end analyses for the USCG National Security Cutter C4ISR “Deepwater” training program.


Russ’ teams performed all instructional design tasks for these schools, including analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation of instructional materials and outcomes. They leaned heavily on the work of Joe Harless and Robert Mager for guidance. These instructional teams built job-aids and simulations, ran train-the-trainer sessions, and served as advisers to military and civilian personnel on training-related issues and how to manage performance-based training initiatives


The work of Russ’ USCG teams led to greater competence in less time for graduates in both “A” schools and in the Deepwater program. In addition, their programs earned for the Coast Guard several coveted ISPI Awards of Excellence for Outstanding Human Performance Intervention.

The supervising Training Manager at the base said this about their work:

They helped the staff at TRACEN Petaluma re-design several major training programs, and helped us complete the design and development of these programs in record time, exceeding our expectations. They helped raise standards for training here on the base.