Capt. Charles Mohler is no stranger to modeling and simulation. A logistics analyst with Marine Corps Systems Command Acquisition Logistics and Product Support, he wrote about the subject for his thesis at Naval Post-Graduate School.
Armed with that background, he saw the immediate benefits and promise of the command’s Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional Training course. The weeklong class was held in July at Quantico for engineers and logisticians at MCSC and Program Executive Officer Land Systems.
“Modeling and simulation is the wave of the future,” Mohler said. “We’ll have the capacity to do more with less, saving the command millions of dollars per year and billions over time. It’s all about working smarter.”
With his experience and knowledge of M&S, Mohler said the certification class was valuable for logisticians or engineers.
“It’s a fantastic course,” he said. “This is such a broad and vast field. You won’t be a subject matter expert in any one area, but you get a feel for the different modeling methods. We’ll get added credibility overall because we’ll know this field and what studies to do.”
The MCSC course supports the modeling and simulation certification program created in 2002 to provide the M&S industry with its own professional certification. Like the professional engineer or project management professional certifications, the CMSP designation signifies competence, skill and experience.
The command partnered with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, which provided instructors. Those who completed the course received 40 continuous learning points—essentially a year’s worth of training—emerging ready to take the Certified Modeling and Simulation Professional exam.
“The course teaches students about the applications and nuances of modeling and simulation,” said Capt. Jeramiah Lujan of MCSC’s Modeling and Simulation Division. “They’ll have a new perspective of how to use M&S in support of acquisitions.
“Those who complete the course are also better prepared for exam,” he said. “If they pass the test, we will add a new level of professional certification to the workforce. Regardless of specialty, this gives our acquisition professionals the ability to derive better information from which better decisions can be made, saving millions and providing the very best for our Marines.”
Another student in the course agreed. Sal Fanelli is an assistant product manager for engineering at MCSC. He also saw the potential for education and savings.
"Modeling and simulation is a very powerful tool engineers can use to justify moving forward with major acquisition programs,” Fanelli said. "With what I've learned in this course and the people I've met who have computer expertise, we could conduct and verify simulation tests at SYSCOM and save money from outsourcing."
The jam-packed course left Fanelli wanting more.
“It’s fast-paced. I wish it was two weeks long,” he said. “We won’t have all the answers, but when we leave we can call each other when we need help on a project.”