USS Carl Vinsonís Sponsorship Division Prepares New Sailors for Success

Story Number: NNS070516-10Release Date: 5/16/2007 1:16:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Philip Schrickel, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A new sponsorship division was established May 10 on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), designed to provide newly reporting Sailors with a speedy, efficient, and effective indoctrination to the aircraft carrier.

The program employs top-notch first class petty officers as sponsors who will help introduce new crew members to shipboard conditions and explain the expectations of Carl Vinson's leadership and collective mission of the ship.

"During RCOH (refueling complex overhaul), we will execute a 100 percent turnover of our crew," said Capt. Ted Carter, commanding officer of Carl Vinson. "We're welcoming a brand new crew to this ship, one that will define the legacy of Carl Vinson's next 25 years of service. We want our Sailors to know that they are the heart, soul and personality of this ship and its reputation from the day they report aboard."

After the initial check-in process, sponsors will be with the Sailors throughout the indoctrination process until they are released to the prospective department. Once checked in to the new department, the new Sailor will receive additional guidance from an assigned mentor.

For those first class petty officers mentoring and welcoming newly reporting Sailors, the ship's sponsorship's division is a chance for experienced fleet Sailors to give back to those who one day might be their replacements in the fleet.

"I'm really excited about the new division," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment 1st Class (AW/SW) Matthew McCauley, the sponsorship division's leading petty officer.

For McCauley, the excitement of mentoring new Sailors allows him the challenge of more responsibilities and having a greater impact on new crew members.

For others who will be part of Carl Vinson's sponsorship team, the objective is to transition new Sailors into productive crew members who will contribute to and enhance the aircraft carrier's mission.

Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Todd Carnes said the Sailors will be able to make a smoother transition to the ship and their assigned departments.

"This is a different environment than an operational carrier, being in RCOH," said Carnes. "We ensure our Sailors are prepared for their new mission and help them get acclimated to life on an aircraft carrier."

For Carl Vinson's new sponsorship team, the chance to mentor junior Sailors and help get crew members off to a good start aboard the ship makes all the difference.

"We're all very anxious to get our sponsorship team going," said McCauley. "I really think it will allow the command to leverage the talent of new Sailors right from the beginning."

Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled RCOH at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the midpoint of their 50-year life cycle.

During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.

For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit

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