Carl Vinson Mentors Sailors interested in Commissioning Programs

Story Number: NNS080408-29Release Date: 4/8/2008 4:25:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Roderick Barclay, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Leaders aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson are working hard during the month of April to mentor Sailors interested in pursuing a career as commissioned naval officers.

As part of the effort, the ship is taking a comprehensive approach to the officer application process; starting from the time a Sailor expresses interest, throughout their screening, and only complete when the application has been mailed to the selection board.

"Being selected for the Seaman to Admiral-21 Program is equivalent to being chosen for the board for 'Sailor of the Year,'" said Lt. Cmdr. James Hamilton, Carl Vinson officer program coordinator. "It's not just a program; it's a vision and a process."

The process is where Hamilton is energizing efforts, and making a difference is his vision. Each Sailor is assigned an officer mentor during their application process. The mentor serves to educate the applicant on the Navy's commissioning programs, while seeking to find the best avenue for a commissioning path.

"I like STA-21 more than the other enlisted-to-officer programs because it enables me to attend a university to earn my college degree," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jose Maldonado.

While STA-21 may be the best choice for some Sailors, other crew members are directed toward commission programs that are more suitable for Sailors with prior college education and experience.

"There are some great commissioning opportunities in the Navy," said Hamilton. "We rely on the processes we have established; command leadership, the Sailor, and the assigned mentor access individual situations for each candidate, and tailor the best path toward a selection for a commissioning program."

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