USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- On board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75), Sailors and from different backgrounds come together to work toward mission success. While it is essential that crew members perform as a team, it is also important for each person to accomplish objectives which have personal significance.
Prior to the Truman's departure on May 21, Capt. John Meier, Truman's executive officer, challenged crew members to develop individual goals that they want to achieve during deployment.
According to Meier, it is imperative that despite the challenges of long days at sea, crew members remember to take care of their professional, spiritual, and physical development.
While the spectrum of goals is broad and as unique as the individual making them, many goals focus on education or career advancement.
"My goal is to earn my warfare qualifications and study for the advancement exam so that I can advance in September," said Hull Technician Fireman Ruben Torres of Bloomington, Ind., one of Truman's newest Sailors. "Basically, I just want to learn."
Torres, who, had never been underway prior to deployment, said career advancement is important because it will help him go home feeling a sense of personal and professional accomplishment. Advancement will also enable him to become a better provider for his family.
A deployment is considered an excellent time for Sailors to concentrate on earning warfare qualifications in that Sailors are able to experience the full range of shipwide operations and witness evolutions that cannot be seen while the ship is inport.
Truman Sailors also have the opportunity to reach their educational goals by taking Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) courses. More than 300 Truman Sailors have signed up to take classes in such areas as Psychology, Math, English, History and Speech.
One of the reasons Airman Heather Flaa of Cherry Hill, N.J., a fuel handler from V-4 division, joined the Navy more than two years ago was because of the educational opportunities the Navy provided. Now that Flaa is on her first deployment, she is scheduled to take NCPACE math classes and is four courses away from finishing her associate's degree.
A popular deployment goal among Sailors and Marines is achieving top physical condition.
"I want to get into the best shape of my life," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Adrian Brown of Montgomery, Ala., of Strike Fighter Squadron 105.
For Brown, being in good shape is about being healthy and having social confidence. Since the beginning of deployment he has already modified his eating habits and adhered to regular workout routines.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Navy for many is traveling the world, a goal that they will certainly meet this deployment. Brown and Flaa have never been outside the United States and plan to take full advantage of tours. Community Relations projects also provide Sailors and the Marines a chance to interact and have a positive impact on the local community.
Deployment can be a long, stressful period. Brown, Flaa, and Torres all agree that setting goals can give crew members something to focus on and make it less stressful.
The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group includes commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, Truman, Carrier Air Wing 3, commander, Destroyer Squadron 26, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and guided-missile destroyers USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81), USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79), USS Ross (DDG 71) and the German Frigate FGS Hessen (F221).
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.