NAVELSG history of the EXW qualification.....
Senior Chief Todd A. Snyder of Navy Cargo Handling Battalion FOUR (NCHB-4), Charleston, SC, known in cargo handling circles as "The Father of the Expeditionary Warfare Pin", played a significant role in the initiation of the Personal Qualification Standard (PQS) for the new Expeditionary Warfare Pin. Starting in October of 2003, he invested over 150 off-duty hours in the research and creation of a PQS for what was then a proposed Cargo Handling Specialist pin.
Subsequently assigned as NAVELSG Forward Port Group ECHO’s EXW Program Manager during his tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom, from August 2006-May 2007, Senior Chief Snyder invested over 1100+ off-duty hours, directing a team of 40 subject matter experts and instructors in the creation of the PLANK OWNER EXW training program for NAVELSG.
At the end of the deployment, 170 forward deployed ECHO and Customs ROMEO sailors particpated in 272 training session resulting in 12,500+ man-hours of training with 80 members, 400% of the original goal, boarded for NAVELSG’s Plank Owner Pin. The result was an 89% board passing rate.
NAVELSG held two group award ceremonies for its first 40+ Plank Owner awardees at Camp Patriot, Kuwait Navy Base, Kuwait in April and May 2007. The first two NAVELSG sailors to successfully pass all the requirements for this pin were SH1 Lance Larson (NCHB-4) and ET1 (now ETC) Brenda Zimmerman (NSSB-1).
From the 2006-2007 OIF deployment, NAVELSG certified Senior Chief Snyder as its first ever Unit Program Manager, and certified its first four designated board members: CMCS Michael W. Smith, BMCS Glenn Todd, CM1 Gregory Schaefer and BM2 Cullen Huntley.
Personnel assigned to expeditionary units will have one year to complete the qualification, and it will be mandatory for E-5 and above. Enlisted Sailors on Type 2 or 4 sea duty, or those serving at a Reserve Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWS), Inshore Boat Unit (IBU), or Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit (MIUWU) and permanently assigned to subordinate units of the program are eligible to work toward qualification.
There are currently no plans to offer an officer version of the qualification.