Truman Brings Home Retention Excellence Award

Story Number: NNS051223-04Release Date: 12/23/2005 9:00:00 PM
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By Journalist 2nd Class (SW/AW) John Stevens, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) received the Chief of Naval Operation's Retention Excellence Award for the 2005 fiscal year.

Truman, along with USS George Washington (CVN 73), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and several other ships, staffs and squadrons, met CNO requirements for reenlistment in all zones.

Truman's command career counselor, Master Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Joe Leff, said satisfied Sailors are choosing to stay Navy based on their tour aboard.

"Command climate is directly related to retention," said Leff. "We've done a lot of work, from the commanding officer all the way down, to keep track of our people with career development boards, mentorship and Perform-to-Serve. It all ties in."

Leff said that by paying attention to every Sailor's needs and potential, Truman helps them better gauge their future, thereby instilling the confidence and knowledge needed to advance. The payoff reflects in happy, healthy Truman Sailors. "We want quality people to stay in," said Leff, "and people really like the Truman."

Truman's retention rates exceeded CNO standards, which monitored reenlistments for three zones of service. More than 56 percent of Zone A Sailors with zero-to-six years in service, more than 69 percent of Zone B Sailors with six-to-10 years in service, and more than 85 percent of Zone C Sailors with 10-to-14 years in service, reenlisted aboard Truman during fiscal year 2005. Additionally, Truman maintained a less than-18-percent first-term attrition rate.

"The numbers are up drastically from last year," said Leff. "It's just because of taking care of Sailors. Also our Reserve affiliation, with recruiters coming on board, has helped."

In a naval message naming the awardees, Commander, Fleet Forces Command Adm. John B. Nathman offered his personal congratulations.

"Your successes represent your command's commitment to the growth and development of your Sailors and will serve as the foundation of war-fighting effectiveness," said Nathman. "Congratulations and well done."

Leff added that Truman is now authorized to fly the Retention Excellence Award pennant, a gold banner emblazoned with a blue fouled anchor, and that Truman is authorized to paint its anchors gold during the upcoming Dry-docked Planned Incremental Availability (DPIA).

Truman will enter Norfolk Naval Shipyard in early January for the ten-month overhaul following nearly two years of high-tempo operations, including a six-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at

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