Archives for category: Education


Story by MC3 Grant Wamack
Photo by MC3 Benjamin Crossley

Last March, 315 Sailors made rank aboard Stennis. This advancement cycle more than 1,400 candidates hope to do the same.

Though E-4, E-5 and E-6 examinations are weeks away there is still time for Sailors to hit the books to be prepared for their first chance at advancement in 2012.

Exams are re-written each cycle, but generally consist of a mixture of questions related to a Sailor’s particular rating as well as questions on basic military regulations. There are many resources available to study from, many of which can be found on the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) website, http://www.nko.navy.mil.

On BUPERS Sailors can navigate bibliographies for their rating, which reference all the documents used to write the exam. It denotes the exact chapters in a reference that Sailors will see on the test. Sailors can also find what sections to study in their basic military requirements book.

“I’ve always found everything I needed to study on BUPERS,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jessica Hensel. “It tells you exactly what to study.”

Though knowing what to study is important, finding the motivation to study is equally important for doing well on the test, said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Juan Castilloadame, who advanced last cycle.

“You can’t just let books sit in your locker for months on end,” said Castilloadame. “You have got to motivate yourself to find the time and really make an honest effort to learn the material. Studying once and forgetting about it won’t help; you have to make a commitment to studying.”

Sailors discouraged by a personnel evaluation that they think will hinder their chance at advancing can boost their final multiple by doing well on the exam, but it begins with studying.

“If you are not happy with your evaluation then doing well on the test is even more important,” said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Justin McQuillin, who works in the education services office and routinely handles paperwork on advancement. “It can give you the extra points that could be the difference between advancing and staying right where you are. You should try and make a difference in the areas that you can control.”

Aside from studying, Sailors can also ensure all the information in their service record is up to date and accurate, which can have a significant impact on advancement.. Things like an undocumented college degrees, award points or having a security clearance can significantly affect a Sailor’s opportunity for promotion.

Last cycle more than 70 people missed the opportunity to advance by two points or less.

“Every point counts,” said McQuillin. “It’s unfortunate when a Sailor comes so close to advancing, but doesn’t because they didn’t check to make sure all of their information on their worksheet was correct.”

Advancing in pay grade not only benefits the Sailor who advances but also those behind him or her who are trying to move forward.

“Once you move up in rank you open it up for people below you to move up,” said McQuillin. “Even people that belong to rates that are closed should study now so that they are ready to move up at the next available chance and make room for others.”

Sailors also set a good example for other shipmates when they study for exams.

“I know a lot of people who don’t study and we shouldn’t want people thinking that advancement is just something that will happen to them eventually,” said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Vince Wilson, who is taking the E-6 exam this cycle. “You want junior Sailors to see their peers studying so they realize it’s an important part of moving up.”

Though deployment is nearing the end, Wilson believes Sailors should keep their mind focused on the upcoming exam.

“A lot of Sailors are more concerned about going home and seeing their families instead of studying,” said Wilson. “You have to look past that, stay determined and be hungry to make rank.”

Chief exams are scheduled to begin in January while E-4, E-5, and E-6 exams will take place on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Thursday in March.

Story by MCSA Carla Ocampo
Photo by MC3 Benjamin Crossley

Sailors aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) came together to recognize Hispanic Americans’ impact on their country and military alike during a ceremony in the ship’s hangar bay Oct. 14.

Stennis’ multi-cultural committee put the ceremony together as a celebration for the contributions Hispanics have made to the U.S. Navy. This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month theme is, “Many backgrounds, many stories…one American spirit.

“I believe we must celebrate and embrace our diversity,” said Lt. j.g. Victor Vasquez, Ship’s Secretary. “It’s what makes us the great force that we are.”

On September 17, 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson designated a week in mid Sept. as National Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, President Ronal Reagan extended that week to a month long observance Sept.15-Oct.15. The National Hispanic Heritage month is a time for Americans to educate themselves about the influences Hispanic culture has had on society.

“It’s important to recognize different cultures and their contributions,” said Lt. Jose Bautista-Rojas, one of Stennis’ chaplains. “Hispanics have made large contributions to the U.S. Navy since the civil war and there have been many Medal of Honor recipients.”

The event then featured traditional and modern Hispanic music from Merengue to Reggaeton and a brief history lesson on some of the biggest Hispanic contributors to the U.S. Navy.

“This month is very important to us all culturally,” said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class (AW/SW) Jose Jaen. “It shows that no matter where you come from, how far you’ve traveled in the Navy, there’s always someone here who has that same pride for your heritage.”

Today there are more than 60,000 Hispanic Americans serving in the U.S. Navy as enlisted Sailors and officers. The multicultural committee gives Sailors a chance to celebrate their culture during the month of October.

“We bring so much more than ourselves to the Navy,” said Bautista-Rojas. “We bring our culture and traditions and make it stronger.”

Celebrations like these can help raise cultural awareness, morale and form bonds between Sailors. The development of these relationships is essential to the Navy’s Maritime Strategy by keeping a team of diverse Sailors who work together to accomplish daily missions.


Story by MC2 Kathleen O’Keefe
Photo by MC3 Dugan Flynn

Stennis Sailors are hitting the books once again as the second term of John C. Stennis University (JCSU) begins this week.

The second term will offer classes that were not available during the first term including Psychology, Child Psychology, Japanese, and American Government. English and math classes are being offered this term as well.

“Overall the classes that are offered can benefit anyone,” said Stennis’ Education Officer Lt. j.g. Karl Rosenkranz. “Whether Sailors are working on an associate, bachelor or even masters degree, JCSU can help them get there.”

Though some classes have already begun, including Introductory, Intermediate and College Algebra, Introduction to Psychology, and Child Psychology, other classes are scheduled to start Oct. 8 when instructors come aboard.

Rosenkranz said the instructor led courses provide unique benefits to Sailors that benefit from a more hands on approach.

“The instructors that come aboard aren’t affected by things like river city or internet hours,” said Rosenkranz. “They also are able to work with Sailors’ schedules and provide a lot of options to those that really want to participate in the class.”

Sailors interested in enrolling in JCSU require a routed special request chit endorsed by their chain of command. Sailors should also be aware that some classes require them to have already taken a placement test.

Rosenkranz wants Sailors to know that a college education is something anyone in the Navy can achieve if they really desire it.

“College isn’t just for any particular rate or rank,” he said. “Whether you learn better with an instructor or work better at your own pace, we can help you meet your educational goals.”

The second term officially began Sept. 28 and is slated to end Nov. 11.

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