USS HARRY S TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) qualified her first enlisted tactical action officer (TAO) March 18.
The new TAO, Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW) Greg Renick, said he hopes to be a positive influence to his subordinates and lead by example.
"This is really the ultimate milestone for the OS (operations specialist) rate," Renick said. "There is no higher qualification. I wanted to challenge myself, and I wanted to show the young Sailors in this rating that if you stick around and study and put forth work there is a lot of opportunity. There are no barriers."
The TAO is responsible in every condition and situation to defend the ship.
Senior Chief Operations Specialist (SW/AW) Donnie Novak, Operations Department leading chief petty officer noted he was honored to witness Renick's achievement.
"It takes extraordinary intellect and confidence to be a TAO, but most importantly it takes dedication, not only to get fully qualified, but to do it well," Novak said. "Countless hours and months of training are required just to be considered for an opportunity to sit in that chair."
Renick said several things had to come together in order to complete his qualification. Renick explained he had a background in tactical operations so upon arrival to the ship, he completed a personnel qualification standard and stood several months worth of watches under instruction. He said the biggest test was passing a qualification board with the commanding officer, executive officer, operations officer, combat direction center officer and the ordnance handling officer.
"I am really fortunate to have a chain of command that has the faith and confidence in me to not only qualify me but consider me for the process," Renick said. "This is really a culmination of many years of training because you have to be in the position to do it."
Novak said Sailors should use Renick's achievement as motivation to attain their own goals. Now that he will stand a watch normally reserved for officers, Renick will be an inspiration to others.
"The junior Sailors in CDC can now see that anything is possible in their career. They may have known that before, but they see it now," Novak said. "They see him sitting in that seat, and it surely builds their self confidence. Out of reach goals are merely fabrications of doubt. With senior chief attaining this qualification, the junior Sailors now have substantial evidence to look at when doubt exists."
Renick attributed his achievement to his dedication.
"The ability to succeed in the Navy is really unlimited if you work hard and prepare yourself and dedicate yourself to a goal no matter what it is," Renick said. "You can achieve anything you set your mind to."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.