NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) division has become notorious on board for providing and sponsoring free or low-cost off-duty activities for crew members throughout the year.
While "Gold Eagle" Sailors frequently take the opportunity to participate in MWR events, few realize that the activities they are afforded are funded by their own hard-earned cash.
"The money you spend at the ship's store and vending machines on board is what makes it possible to keep MWR and its programs up and running, because a lot of that money is donated from supply back to MWR," said Machinist's Mate 1st class (SS/SW) Jonathon Bever.
"The money is used to boost morale by keeping Sailors occupied during their liberty hours. So basically, not only do you get whatever you buy for yourself, but you also benefit again from that purchase in the long run."
The MWR division offers crew members free trips like Adventure into the Unknown, various sports activities, technologically advanced gyms on board and command-wide events like the annual Summer Bash and holiday party. Additionally, MWR allots a specific amount of money to each department on board to fund their own camaraderie-building picnics and outings.
"We give, on average, about $70,000 every four months to the ship's MWR division," said Senior Chief Ship's Serviceman (SW/AW) Jeffrey Davidson. "This year alone, we have donated $246,000, with $100,000 of that in just the last quarter. That money goes to activities that our Sailors use to relieve stress outside of work."
Chief Ship's Serviceman (SW/AW) Sean Fontenot agreed, adding that the MWR division has long been focused on keeping the crew happy and entertained.
"I believe that quality of life affects how people act and work at all times," said Fontenot. "I think that if they're happy and have good opportunities and positive situations afforded to them, they will continue to work hard and stay out of trouble. That's what MWR does for the crew."
USS Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled 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/.