BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) have taken advantage of the many college degree opportunities offered by the Navy while the ship is undergoing a major planned incremental availability in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS).
Through programs like Tuition Assistance (TA) and Navy College Program for Afloat College Education, 18 Lincoln Sailors are pursuing graduate degrees while still meeting the ship's requirements for work.
For one Sailor, the four-hour commute across the Puget Sound from Lincoln's homeport, Naval Station Everett, Wash., to PSNS has become an excellent time for studying and course work.
"Most of my time studying is accomplished while riding the ferry from Everett and Bremerton," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW/SW) Christopher A. Leigh, aircraft intermediate maintenance department, IM-3 division leading petty officer, and Dallas native. "It's a nice, quiet environment that's conducive to studying. It's a productive way to spend four hours of my time that would otherwise be wasted."
Leigh is pursuing a doctorate in business administration through the TA program, which pays 100 percent of tuition for active-duty Sailors.
"I really enjoy being a student and constantly challenging myself to reach higher," said Leigh. "More importantly, by continuing my pursuit of higher education, I hope to be a role model for Sailors around me. A successful Navy career and a degree can both be achieved at the same time."
College degree opportunities benefit the individual Sailor personally and professionally.
"If you know how to study for a college course, you now have a nimble mind to study for damage control, maintenance or your advancement exam," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Richard J. Greenlee,
administration department's and education service office's leading petty officer, and Belvedere, Ill., native.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.