USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) will retain its golden anchors throughout 2008 after winning the Retention Excellence Award for fiscal year 2007.
Official announcement came via naval message Nov. 29 as the crew of Ronald Reagan was underway for Tailored Ship's Training Assessment and Final Evaluation Problem exercises.
In the message sent out to Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award winners, Adm. Robert F. Willard, commander, Pacific Fleet wrote, "Your dedication and commitment to career motivation and excellence not only exemplifies your superb performance, but also attests to your concern for the personal and professional needs of our Sailors. Every member of your command can be justifiably proud of this achievement."
The Retention Excellence Award, also known as the "Golden Anchor Award," is presented annually to ships, squadrons, staffs and shore commands that have won two or more quarterly honor rolls during the fiscal year. Ronald Reagan was able to meet these requirements after 278 Sailors reenlisted in fiscal year 2007.
Master Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) Laura Paquian, who leads the Ronald Reagan retention team, said the key was the involvement by the individual department career counselors.
"Each department has one to two certified career counselors on the ship," said Paquian.
In addition to department involvement, the command career counselors also hold routine open houses on the ship's mess decks to reach the entire crew.
"The bottom line is, early communication with Sailors determines their needs and desires," said Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) Fonda Wilson.
Wilson said that there are many reasons that Sailors chose to stay in the military.
"I would have to say that the top reasons are job security, health benefits and the opportunity to earn a college degree," said Wilson.
Ronald Reagan was commissioned in July 2003, making it the ninth and newest Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The ship is named for the 40th U.S. president; its motto, "Peace through Strength," was a recurring theme during the Reagan presidency.
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