NEWPORT NEWS Va. (NNS) -- Doors locked and silence prevailed as more than 240 USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) petty officer first classes sat down to take the Navy-wide chief petty officer's examination in the Huntington Hall gymnasium Jan. 17.
For 90 nerve-racking minutes, first classes put their pencils to work on a test that could determine the next step in their Navy careers.
"This was my first time taking the exam," said Storekeeper 1st Class (SW/AW) Jessica Doucette, Carl Vinson's indoctrination coordinator. "I've taken practice exams and invested more than 80 study hours in a four-month period to help enhance my rating knowledge. I feel good about it; I'm hoping my score reflects upon all the effort I've put into preparing for the test."
Over the past few months, the ship's Educational Services Office (ESO) offered helpful study tips and urged all eligible first classes to study for a minimum of one hour per day. In addition, the First Class Petty Officer's Association held group study sessions.
"I have taken the exam twice and made board both times," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Joseph Nesby, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department, Ship's Force division leading petty officer. "This time around, I focused on studying one bibliography topic per day. That method enabled me to absorb the information more effectively and process what I learned before taking on additional topics."
In support of their shipmates, duty section personnel and Sailors from departments across the ship joined efforts in making the exam process as smooth as possible for those taking the test.
"The entire Carl Vinson team worked together to ensure the room was as relaxing as possible, and to make sure supplies were there to accommodate everyone taking the exam," said Personnel Specialist Seaman David Wink, the ship's Navy-wide exam coordinator. "ESO and Training department took charge of making sure our shipmates on individual augmentee duty had their opportunity to take the test. Together, we had all the bases covered."
Carl Vinson Sailors currently deployed on individual augmentee duty were automatically eligible for the selection board. Selection board eligibility is expected to be released in late February or early March, with chief petty officer selections slated for release in August.
"I think I did pretty well on the exam," said Doucette. "It is very important for me to make chief, so I can continue to provide for myself and my child, and to have the best life possible. I would love to be able to don anchors this fall, because I love my Sailors and leadership roles. Plus, I love the khakis!"
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
For more news from Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.