ABOARD USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- Whether they are taking a break from a busy workday to shop at the ship's store or getting a haircut at the barbershop, Sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) rely on the aircraft carrier's Sales and Service (S-3) division to enhance their quality of life on a daily basis.
Recently, Commander, Naval Supply Systems Command (COMNAVSUPSYSCOM) recognized the diligent efforts of the Gold Eagle's S-3 division by naming Carl Vinson "Best in Class" in the Pacific Fleet 2002 Ship's Store Retail and Service Excellence Award program. According to Rear Adm. Justin McCarthy, COMNAVSUPSYSCOM, Best in Class signifies a superior level of customer service and excellence.
"Your ship's store personnel are commended for their hard work, sacrifice and commitment to excellence," said McCarthy in the award announcement. "Their efforts have had a significant impact on boosting morale and improving the quality of life for their shipmates."
This is the second consecutive year that Carl Vinson's S-3 division has received this award, which acknowledges outstanding leadership, superior financial accountability and unequaled customer service.
"Our key to success has been that we consistently work by the book everyday," said Lt.j.g. Chris Mayfield, Carl Vinson's sales officer, who credits his divisions success, in part, to accurate records and bookkeeping.
While an organized business and transaction records play a vital role in the successful operation of the ship's stores, barbershop, laundry and vending area, it is the customer service skills of the ship's servicemen who operate these facilities that make Carl Vinson's S-3 Division one of the most important morale boosters for the crew.
"We have over 5,500 (Sailors) aboard -- that's a small city -- and we're the only store in town," said Mayfield. "If a Sailor can't get clean laundry or a haircut, that affects his work."
For many of the carrier's Sailors, who have experienced the Navy's ship's store program improving throughout the years, the significant effort put forth by Vinson's store personnel is apparent.
"In general, I think that ship's stores are improving throughout the fleet," said Chief Aerographer's Mate (AW) Gerald Smoot. "However, this (Carl Vinson) is by far the best ship's store I've ever seen."
The challenge of servicing a never-ending stream of hard-working carrier and airwing crew members, is one that the men and women of S-3 division face with a smile.
"It is important for us to be kind and courteous to all of our customers no matter what," said Ship's Serviceman 3rd Class Rhoushaunda Williams, who works in the ship's laundry. "The way we interact with a customer can have an effect on the rest of his day."
For many Sailors, just visiting the ship's store or barbershop can alleviate some of the stresses they face underway.
"The services that we provide offer the Sailors a touch of home," said Mayfield. "Many Sailors blow off steam by coming to the store and shopping for a new CD or DVD."
All profits earned by the ship's store go to Carl Vinson's Morale, Welfare and Recreation program to fund events and activities for the crew.
S-3's distinction in winning the Ship's Store Retail and Service Excellence Award helps bring USS Carl Vinson's Supply Department one step closer to winning this year's Supply Blue "E" award, which recognizes Supply efficiency and excellence.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.