NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Second Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA) will kick-off its new First Classes in Training (FIT) program, slated to begin aboard Oct. 1.
Inspired by the ship's innovative Chiefs in Training program, FIT is designed to endow the ship's second class petty officers with the knowledge and leadership skills that will set them up for a successful transition into the first class ranks, while motivating them to strive for advancement to the next pay grade.
"We're putting up posters, planning activities and talking to potential candidates to get the word out about the new program," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class (AW) Sonya Hogan.
The program's Oct. 1 commencement will include the teaming up of the Carl Vinson SCPOA and will bring the PO to Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Association, a similar program from Fort George G. Meade, to participate in events like meet-and-greets and collaborative physical training.
"The meet-and-greet with Fort Meade's PO to MCPON Association will be a great way for both groups to share ideas and help each other develop," said Damage Controlman 2nd Class (SW/AW) Ezekiel Pasha. "There will be a level of camaraderie between both groups that will make it a fun and social experience for all of the program's Sailors."
There are 37 second classpetty officers participating in FIT, all hailing from different departments shipwide. Hogan said she expects that number to climb as the program gains more attention with through the support of the entire "Gold Eagle" crew.
"The Second Class Petty Officer's Association is moving on board, and FIT serves a double purpose by inspiring third classes to push for advancement to second class, as well," said Hogan, explaining that while the program is designed for second classes, motivation for advancement can spread to all pay grades.
"We want the motivation to trickle down the ranks so that everyone can benefit from it."
FIT will incorporate leadership training and competitions in physical training and damage control, in addition to volunteer projects and activities, to promote camaraderie and boost morale.
"We want our Sailors to participate in the exercises and to learn a lot from the program's curriculum," said Pasha. "Successful Sailors will be the program's biggest accomplishment. The success of FIT will be evident in our Sailors, who are not only members but who also represent the best of the best."
Carl Vinson is undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.