USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Thirty USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors were awarded enlisted surface warfare specialist (ESWS) and enlisted aviation warfare specialist (EAWS) designations during a pinning ceremony July 16.
Earning a warfare qualification represents a milestone in a Sailor's career and signifies professionalism, dedication and Navy pride along with making a service member more competitive for advancement.
The pinning ceremony marks the first of what Truman leadership hopes will be many mass warfare pinning ceremonies during the aircraft carrier's deployment. Electronics Technician Senior Chief (SW/AW) Michael Callaway, Truman's command ESWS coordinator, said leadership felt it was important to make the ceremony a command function.
"They wanted all the folks in the audience to be able to see their shipmates getting pinned," he said. "Sailors who spent time working with them or who eat with them on the mess decks will see them and think, 'If they can do it, so can I.'"
Machinist Mate 3rd Class (SW/AW) Kara Harris spent six months working on her EAWS qualification, and said she believes the hard work in earning the qualification was worth the sacrifice.
"I worked hard to get this pin, and it felt good to be recognized by the upper-chain of command," she said. "I think my chief was very proud of me. Other than my mentor, he was the one who supported me the most while I was working on this qualification."
Callaway said the commanding officer, command master chief and warfare program coordinators brainstormed for hours to decide when, where and how the ceremony should occur to make it a memorable experience for the awardees.
"A lot of thought went into deciding how we should do it," said Callaway. "You only get pinned once, and we wanted the ceremony to be special for the Sailors who worked hard to achieve their goal."
The new warfare specialists were able to choose the person to pin their qualification. Many Sailors said that the ability to select the mentor who had a positive impact on their Naval career and contributed to their professional development made the experience more meaningful.
"I liked that we were able to pick the person to pin us as opposed to somebody we don't really know or who didn't directly interact with us," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class (SW) Angeli Ancho, one of 20 Sailors earning the ESWS pin. "Being recognized by the captain and your peers for such an accomplishment-especially for the junior Sailors-is a very important and motivating thing."
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.