Aviation Ordnanceman Leads Future Navy Linguists at Defense Language Institute

By Seaman Makinna Olmstead, Information Warfare Training Command Monterey

MONTEREY, Calif. — Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class Veronica Aguilar is currently serving as the leading petty officer of N32, the division of Navy trainees at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey studying Korean and Chinese at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center.

Aguilar had plans to be an instructor at the Aviation Ordnanceman “A” school, but was notified those orders had fallen through. The only similar duty available was a leadership position at IWTC Monterey. After serving for six years in the surface Navy, the move to a training command outside of her warfare community was a bit of a culture shock. The Sailors in her charge come straight from basic training and require a different style of leadership.

“Coming from the fleet, I was absolutely affected,” shared Aguilar. “I needed to find a balance so as to motivate and empower my Sailors rather than instill fear and lose the opportunity to further develop and mentor them professionally and personally.”

According to her Sailors, she has succeeded in achieving this balance. The students she leads are all engaged in intensive foreign language training programs, and will eventually become part of the information warfare community which has a culture all its own. Aguilar proves that leadership is not confined to ones’ own community or rating. The skills she developed in the fleet are just as effective with brand new Sailors.

“AO1 holds us to a very high standard,” said Seaman Apprentice Katherine Seiberth. “She is compassionate and always willing to listen to and work with her Sailors. She is fair and always has the information you need and she never hesitates to correct mistakes.”

For any Sailor considering taking orders to IWTC Monterey, Aguilar believes it is very important to lead with heart and be prepared to work hard.

“It’s important to be a strong, well-rounded leader,” said Aguilar. “Part of that is being willing to open up socially and share some smiles with my Sailors to brighten their day. Most importantly, be ready to lead the next wave of information warriors!”

IWTC Monterey, as part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel, which prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.

With four schoolhouse commands, two detachments, and training sites throughout the United States and Japan, CIWT is recognized as Naval Education and Training Command’s top learning center for the past three years. Training over 21,000 students every year, CIWT delivers trained information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint services. CIWT also offers more than 200 courses for cryptologic technicians, intelligence specialists, information systems technicians, electronics technicians, and officers in the information warfare community.

For more on Information Warfare Training Command Monterey, visit and, or find them on Facebook.

For more news from the Center for Information Warfare Training, visit,,, or

DISCLAIMER: This article was originally published at the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System Hub ( The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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