GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The executive officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) accompanied senior enlisted leaders from the ship to Recruit Training Command (RTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Oct. 5, to participate in a recruit graduation ceremony and tour of base facilities.
Serving as the guest of honor alongside reviewing officer Vice Adm. David Venlet, commander of Naval Air Systems Command, Carl Vinson's executive officer Capt. Dennis Mikeska had the opportunity to personally congratulate members of graduating Recruit Division 345, a group sponsored by the aircraft carrier since their formation into a recruit division in August 2007.
"Being here to witness these recruits graduating from their basic training and welcoming them into our Navy is an honor," said Mikeska. "You can't help but be humbled by the commitment and dedication these young men and women are making as they begin their Naval service."
Carl Vinson's Command Master Chief Glenn Mallo also made the trip, along with a group of leading chief petty officers from the ship; and this group of senior enlisted leaders couldn't help but be impressed with the professionalism of the recruits and the quality of training they receive at RTC.
"Sponsoring Recruit Division 345 and being here to see these recruits graduate was a win-win for the Sailors and for our senior enlisted leaders who had the chance to mentor these men and women," said Mallo. "We learned a lot about the quality of Sailors that are coming to the fleet, and our senior enlisted leaders were rejuvenated by the enthusiasm they witnessed from these young recruits."
During the visit, Carl Vinson leadership toured RTC facilities; including the new state-of-the-art physical training center, several of the recruit barracks (called ships), and the new "Battle Stations 21" training facility. They also had the opportunity to interact and provide mentorship to recruits assigned to Recruit Division 345 during a pre-graduation event known as "pizza night."
"We talked to them about life after basic training," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Rick Vallet. "We encouraged them to keep working toward their goals and to continue to strive for excellence throughout their careers."
Mikeska later accompanied the group to their barracks to deliver a motivational speech to the new Sailors of Recruit Division 345.
"You all accomplished something great by making it through basic training, and you did this by working as a team," said Mikeska. "This same kind of teamwork will be expected of you when you get to the fleet."
For Carl Vinson's leadership delegation visiting RTC, the firsthand experience witnessing recruits transform into Sailors offered a renewed perspective of the commitment that many Americans make when they join the ranks of the U.S. Navy.
"They come in to serve their country and learn new skills," said Mikeska. "These recruits are truly the future of our organization, and as leaders we must understand how valuable our young Sailors are to the continued success of our Navy."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.