Carl Vinson Senior Chief Plans Second Career Through Troops to Teachers

Story Number: NNS080403-08Release Date: 4/3/2008 1:44:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joel Carlson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A senior chief petty officer stationed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) is using his military experience to prepare him for a future career as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

Although he isn't retiring any time soon, Senior Chief Master-at-Arms (SW) Thomas Russ, said planning for a second career should occur well ahead of separation from active duty.

"After a tour of instructor duty, I realized I really enjoyed teaching," Russ said. "It's something I'd like to continue after I leave the Navy, so I'm planning now."

To achieve his goal for a second career in teaching, Russ will access the DoD program, "Troops to Teachers" (TTT).

The TTT program recruits military personnel who desire to transition into the teaching profession.

The program also provides placement services, particularly for areas and school districts that are in need of new teachers.

For Russ, who manages a large contingent of Sailors assigned to the ship's force protection team, the goal of becoming a teacher centers around influencing others through positive leadership.

"The transition should be smooth for me because I believe leading and mentoring Sailors and teaching students is a lot alike," said Russ. "A teacher can make a huge impact on young people."

To prepare for a second career in teaching, Russ is honing his skills as a wrestling coach for schools in the Hampton Roads area.

Russ said the opportunity to coach and teach makes the education profession, a desirable job choice after his days in the Navy are over.

"I'm working on my physical education degree right now, and I'll be ready to be a high school wrestling coach when I'm finished," Russ said. "If I can be a positive role model and a true mentor, it can make somebody a better person and lead them into becoming a great adult."

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