USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- With outstanding leadership, superior financial accountability and unequaled customer service, USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Sales and Services (S-3) Division has built a dynasty.
Navy Exchange (NEX) Service Command awarded the aircraft carrier's S-3 division in October with their third-straight, annual Ship's Store and Service Excellence Award, and Cmdr. Stuart Jones, Vinson's supply officer, presented the award to the Sales and Services crew at a Jan. 9 ceremony.
According to the award endorsed by Rear. Adm. William Maguire, commander of NEX Service Command, the award signifies outstanding professionalism and significant contributions made by ship's store personnel in improving the quality of life of their shipmates.
"We've been doing great things over the last year," said Jones, while addressing the S-3 division. "It's really special when people on the outside recognize your achievements. You've hit the long ball three years in a row."
S-3's team, which totals about 45 ship's servicemen (SHs), controls the ship's mall, Seven Eleven, barber shop, laundry and vending area. Providing service for the almost 5,000 Sailors and Marines that make up the Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 team can be a considerable challenge.
"Everyone in this division takes pride in the job," said Lt. j.g. Tim Grasmick, S-3's division officer. "They maintain a constant. They can't have an off day."
Off days were out of the question during the "Gold Eagle's" eight-month western Pacific deployment. S-3 cranked out 375 tons of laundry, cut more than 25,000 heads of hair and sold almost 500,000 candy bars.
Although the work stacked up almost as high as the receipts, the supercarrier's super team of SHs never lost sight of their main priority.
"Customer satisfaction is our number one goal," said Grasmick. "When customers come in the store or go to the barber shop, they shouldn't have to jump through hoops. They have better things to do."
Some of the better things are made possible by S-3's profits. Last year's more than $650,000 in profits went to Vinson's Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Division and paved the way for tickets, tours, gym equipment and Christmas parties for the crew.
"We work for MWR, and they turn around and work for us," said Ship's Serviceman Seaman Brian Dixon.
NEX Excellence Award winners will compete for the title of "Best In Class" of the Pacific Fleet. Results should be announced in the spring.
"I think we've got an excellent chance, because the crew supports us," said Grasmick. "I work with truly dedicated professionals. Our Sales and Services Division has an excellent reputation around the fleet."
Carl Vinson is currently underway in the Southern California operating area conducting training and carrier qualifications with CVW-9.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.