Carl Vinson XO Serves as Reviewing Officer for RTC Graduation

Story Number: NNS080521-22Release Date: 5/21/2008 5:13:00 PM
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By Lt. j.g. Arlo Abrahamson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES (NNS) -- The executive officer and Sailors from the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), traveled to Naval Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, May 15-16, to mentor new Sailors and participate in recruit graduation activities.

The trip was the final phase of a sponsor partnership between Recruit Division 187 and Sailors from the aircraft carrier. During the visit, Carl Vinson's Executive Officer, Cmdr. Stephen Koehler, attended the traditional pre-graduation pizza night, and then spoke to recruits about their new role as Sailors.

"Everything you learned here at RTC, you will take to the fleet," said Koehler. "Your basic training experience will be the foundation for your success in the Navy."

For leadership aboard Carl Vinson, the recruit sponsorship initiative is viewed as an investment in the future of the Navy and the aircraft carrier. The ship has sponsored three recruit divisions in the last two years, bringing dozens of senior enlisted and officer leaders to RTC with the goal of learning more about today's recruits, while teaching the Navy's newest Sailors more about life in the fleet.

During the activities leading up to the graduation ceremony, Koehler and Carl Vinson's delegation of Sailors witnessed evolutions aboard the state-of-the-art battle stations trainer USS Trayer (BST 21).

"Battle Stations bring a whole new experience for these Sailors that will help them prepare for their experiences in the fleet," said Vinson's Command Master Chief Glenn Mallo. "Every Navy leader should have the opportunity to witness the training we're providing our new recruits here at RTC."

After reviewing battle stations, Carl Vinson Sailors had front row seats for the recruit graduation ceremony, where Koehler served as the reviewing officer and guest speaker. During his remarks, Koehler emphasized the importance of teamwork in the fleet and dedication to the Navy's Core Values.

"Always remember that the Navy's mission is accomplished through teamwork," said Koehler. "You have volunteered to serve your country; no one made you do this. You have made the choice to be a U.S. Navy Sailor, and I couldn't be more proud of all of you."

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