NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) added another benchmark to its already sterling record by reenlisting 51 Sailors in one day, and nearly 100 for the entire month, with a cake-cutting ceremony held Feb. 16.
Due to readjustments to the Navy's Standard Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) program and also a desire to serve, many Sailors were motivated to stay Navy.
"Reenlistments are going down all over the place," said Truman Command Career Counselor, Master Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Joe Leff, who added there were so many reenlistments, many of them were held off the ship. "Some reenlistments were held at Town Point Park, The Scott Annex Bowling Center and The Rusty Anchor."
Nearly all of the Sailors that are deciding to stay Navy are receiving an SRB. But the bonuses, ranging from about $2,000 to about $30,000, are only a small factor for these Sailors.
Most Sailors are reenlisting to make the Navy a career, or because their chain of command has been such a positive influence on them that they want to stay Navy to become a positive influence on other Sailors.
"I'm reenlisting today because I love what I am doing," said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) William Ackerman, who reenlisted for six years Feb. 10.
Ackerman's department, Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department (AIMD), reenlisted a total of 11 Sailors for the month, the most of any department on Truman. The department added 145 years of cumulative service to the Navy.
The reenlisting Sailors celebrated the event with a cake-cutting ceremony at the Dry Dock Club at Scott Annex adjacent to Norfolk Naval Shipyards.
"All the people reenlisting today really show what a great place AIMD is to work," said Ackerman. "All the reenlistments show what a great command this is."
The Sailor's chain of command is instrumental in organizing not only the ceremony, but also the paperwork that goes along with a reenlistment.
"The chain of command has a large part to do with getting these Sailors to reenlist," said Leff. "It's a big team effort between the Sailor's chain of command and the ship's administration department to make everything go smoothly."
Truman received the Retention Excellence award for 2005, and the ship is well on its way to earning the award for 2006, as well.
Throughout the month of February, 77 Truman Sailors reenlisted for a total of 165 years of added Navy service and more than $600,000 of SRBs.
Harry S. Truman is currently undergoing a Dry-Docked Planned Incremental Availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and expects to return to sea later this year.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.