NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- Two sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) received Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals April 29 for their assistance in helping separating crew members continue military service in the Navy Reserve.
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Chandra Blount and Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Smith, both assigned to Carl Vinson's personnel division as separation clerks, have helped transition a large number of separating Sailors for service in the Navy Reserves by educating them about the benefits of reserve duty.
"I think the Reserve are a great option for those Sailors coming off active duty, because it's a continuous career that keeps people connected to the Navy in a more flexible setting," said Blount.
Smith said many first-term Sailors who wish to separate from service do not want to cut off all their ties with the Navy, and are attracted by the benefits and the camaraderie of continued military service through the Navy Reserve.
"Active duty isn't for everyone," Smith said. "When the members come in to check out for separation, I talk to them about utilizing the Navy Reserve as an opportunity to keep their foot in the door. That way, if the civilian world is not what they expected, they can still be a part of the Navy."
On hand for the awards presentation were two Navy Reserve recruiters from Navy Recruiting District Richmond; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (SW/AW) Daniel Galloway and Aviation Machinist's Mate 1st Class Jason Jackson.
"These Sailors help us do our jobs by referring crew members who are separating under honorable conditions so that we can talk to them about joining the reserves," said Jackson. "To go above and beyond, they help us obtain the paperwork needed to transition from active duty to reserves. They're doing great work in keeping the Navy Reserve strong."
The Carl Vinson Sailors said they appreciate the medals and will continue to educate crew members about career options in the Navy Reserve. For their efforts, both Smith and Blount said their greatest reward is helping fellow Sailors choose military career options that best suit their professional goals.
"We never expected to win any awards for what we do," said Smith. "If qualified Sailors don't want to stay on active duty, we want to tell them about the benefits of the Reserve force. The reserves are a great way to stay Navy."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.