Archives for category: Career

Story by MC1 Grant Ammon
Photo by MC3 Kenneth Abbate

The more than 400 Sailors recently selected for advancement aboard USS John C. Stennis took to the classroom Nov. 21 – 22 to take part in Center for Personal and Professional Development’s Petty Officer Leadership course.

Facilitators from the Chief Petty Officers Mess and First Class Petty Officers Mess came together to educate, inform and train the newly advanced petty officers on topics such as leadership, rights and responsibilities, mentoring, and subordinate development.

“My favorite unit of the training was on deckplate leadership,” said Yeoman 2nd Class John Maldonado, a course attendee selected for First Class Petty Officer. “I think I will be able to use the skills and lessons I learned during this course. It will serve me well on a daily basis. A lot of the course material seemed like review at first, but I really learned a lot. It was a good opportunity to take time just to focus on leadership and on the details that go into being a good manager or leader.”

The course blended readings and discussions with scenario-driven case studies to illustrate points and deliver course content to the newly advanced Sailors. Instructors wove stories and anecdotes into the lesson plan to make the content more appealing and interesting to participants.

“My favorite instructor was Senior Chief Brooks, who taught the block on professionalism,” said Maldonado. “She presented herself in a very professional manner and her enthusiasm for the course material really made her presentation fun and exciting. She shared her knowledge with such energy; it was hard not to get into the lecture.”

For Sailors volunteering to facilitate the course motivation to serve came from the opportunity to give back to junior Sailors and develop leaders in the Navy.

“The main reason I chose to get involved was to help to instill the Navy Core Values of honor, courage and commitment in our future leaders,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Michalle Miller, an 18-year veteran of the Navy who taught a portion of the Third Class Petty Officer Leadership Course. “I was able to draw from my experiences in the Navy as well as my life experiences as a mother and as a grandmother while teaching the course. I truly feel it is my obligation to give these newly advanced Sailors my knowledge for the betterment of the Navy’s future.”

Taking a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of shipboard operations to focus on leadership serves to develop and foster growth in those serving in the Petty Officer ranks and adds value to the naval service.

“These courses are meant to be a refresher or introduction to leadership and should re-instill the Navy’s Core Values in our Sailors,” said Senior Chief Personnel Specialist (SW) Robert Cook, Training Department’s Leading Chief Petty Officer. “These courses aim to make the Navy a stronger workplace and to remind these newly promoted Sailors that as a petty officer their responsibilities go beyond themselves. They are now also responsible for the Sailors in their care as well.”

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Story and photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin Murphy

The Navy is implementing an Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) due to high retention and overmanning in certain rates.

The purpose of the ERB is to reduce overmanning in 31 ratings projected to be more than 103 percent manned in fiscal year 2012 and rebalance rates to increase advancement opportunities for high performing Sailors.

“We are attracting and retaining the highest quality force we’ve ever had and these Sailors are increasingly looking at the Navy as a great long-term career choice,” said Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson in an April 25 interview. “With this sustained high retention, systems designed to help maintain the balance in our force, particularly Perform-to Serve, have become over-burdened. As a result, re-enlistment and advancement opportunities for our high performing Sailors are being negatively impacted Fleet-wide.”

The Navy will examine the performance of roughly 16,000 Sailors and will release about 3,000 Sailors from overmanned rates such as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuel), Operation Specialist and Ship’s Servicemen.

Sailors in pay grades E4 through E8 with at least seven years of active service computed from their active duty service date and less than 15 years of service will be reviewed by ERB.

After May 16, 2011, individual Sailors will be able to view their own board profile sheets at the NavyAdvancementCenter page on Navy Knowledge Online.

“Sailors are responsible for ensuring the information contained in their record is correct,” said Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Jean-Hero Lamy. “If the information in the record is not up to date, Sailors can submit a letter with the latest information and added information about themselves.”

Factors which will determine non-retention include a Sailor’s declining performance, removal of security clearance when required by rating, and military or civilian convictions.

“The good thing is everybody in the overmanned ratings has an opportunity to convert to undermanned ratings by June 15,” said Lamy.

“I am thinking about converting to Navy Counselor,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 2nd Class (AW/ SW) Justin Delpalacio, who qualifies for the ERB.

“When I heard about the review board, it lit a light bulb over my head.”

The ERB for E4 and E5 convenes Aug. 22 and the ERB for E6 through E8 will meet Sept. 26.

Each board will be composed of a flag officer, officers and master chiefs. Senior chiefs and chiefs will serve as recorders.

“I want to re-enlist,” said Delpalacio. “The review board scares me. I am a little worried. There are people reviewing us who never worked with us. It could be an advantage for me or a disadvantage.”

In late fall, Stennis’ commanding officer Capt. Ronald Reis should be notified by NAVADMIN once the names of Sailors not selected for retention have been posted on BUPERS online (BOL).

For more information about the ERB, contact a departmental career counselor or refer to NAVADMIN 129/11.


Story & Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Heather Seelbach

Career counselors aboard Stennis are encouraging Sailors to familiarize themselves with Perform to Serve (PTS), a Navy force shaping tool used to control manning levels that ultimately determines whether Sailors are able to reenlist.

The PTS process begins with a career development board (CDB) 13 months from a Sailor’s End of Active Obligated Service (EAOS). During the CDB, a PTS request is filled out. The completed form is submitted into Fleetride along with the Sailor’s Physical Fitness Assessments (PFAs), last five evaluations and results from any Non Judicial Punishments (NJPs), if applicable. The Sailor is competing with other Sailors from their year group, and PTS results come out once a month.

“Getting in trouble, (PFA) failures, or any other blip in their record will put Sailors lower in the ranking, potentially affecting their opportunities for PTS approval,” said Navy Career Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Brenda Chavez, one of Stennis’ Command Career Counselors. “Currently, even EP Sailors are having a difficult time getting PTS approval because of the year group they came in and the manning levels.”

Sustained superior performance helps Sailors make the cut, said Chavez. Sailors must strive to make themselves stand out in order to maximize career opportunities and stay competitive in today’s Navy.

Leadership can assist Sailors by keeping them informed of policy changes. Informed Sailors are better prepared and have more options when it comes to deciding whether or not they will reenlist, said Stennis Command Career Counselor, Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) Jacqueline Moise.

“Conducting career development boards within their schedule (at six months, 12 months, one year, and every consecutive year thereafter) is essential to preparing Sailors for their PTS window,” said Moise. “If a Sailor has a low ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) score, it should be addressed during the initial CDB. During that time, it should be recommended that the Sailor retake the ASVAB before he is in his PTS window.”

PTS can be a lengthy process and accuracy of information is vital. Career counselors can advise Sailors on the proper steps to maximize potential PTS approval.

“I make sure evaluation inputs are correct and all the information is updated and current,” said Air Department’s Career Counselor, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 2nd Class (AW/SW) Sofia Gonzalez. “I also tell my Sailors that if they want a better chance of getting picked up they should choose the ‘in-rate but willing to convert’ option on the PTS application.”
Although a Sailor gets six looks (chances) for PTS approval, the third non-selection, or rollover, prompts an additional CDB and re-submission of the PTS form.

“Aboard Stennis, a career development board is conducted for any Sailor who has been rolled over three times,” said Gonzalez. “Sailors in this situation are advised to consider rate conversion, depending on available quotas, and are informed about available programs. For example, selective reserves, separation, Transition Assistance Program Class, the Blue to Green program, and college opportunities under the Post 9-11 GI Bill.”

Like other Navy force shaping tools, ‘Perform to Serve’ is here to stay and Sailors should take accountability of their own careers if they want to stay Navy.


Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chablis J. Torrence
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate

Sailors looking to make the most of their active duty service can take advantage of a ‘cool’ program that is free for active duty enlisted personnel.

The Navy Credentialing Opportunity Online (COOL) program allows Sailors to apply their acquired job skills toward certain civilian licenses and certifications.

“Credentials hold a lot of weight in the civilian world,” said Mike Tally, a Navy COOL credentialing program analyst, during a Navy COOL briefing at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Because Sailors will be transitioning out of the military at some point, it is important to be thinking in advance about what they’ll be doing in the civilian sector, said Tally.

The Navy COOL program, available though Navy Knowledge Online (NKO), provides information and funding for certifications in areas such as homeland security, graphic design, and many other professional areas.

“I’ve gained a lot of skills since joining the Navy,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Ebony Fortney. “It’s really useful to have a program that lets me use that knowledge to further my career if I choose to get out.”

Less than 1% of enlisted Sailors take advantage of this program each month.

Navy COOL pays for these services using a voucher system which is available on a first come, first serve basis. After filling out and submitting vouchers, Sailors receive a verification number to submit to the credentialing entity as payment. Once that is completed, Sailors only have to schedule their exams and pass their credentials test.

“People are missing out on a great opportunity that can really help them not only in the civilian world but in the Navy as well,” said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Marionogerard Zamora.

“It shows that you have the initiative to go out there and better yourself not only as a Sailor, but as a member of society.”

The Navy COOL program allows Sailors to utilize the skills they gain in the military and apply them to their chosen careers after leaving the service.

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