PORTSMOUTH, Va (NNS) -- The USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Educational Services Office (ESO) began offering Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) preparation classes at Norfolk Naval Shipyard July 13.
The 10-day course is designed to help Sailors maximize their scores on the test, which could mean more job options and greater advancement opportunities for them during their military careers, according to Chief Personnel Specialist Chuck Bowman, from Truman's ESO.
To retake the ASVAB, Bowman said a Sailor must show proof that they have taken steps to improve their score. The preparation class fills this requirement while focusing on the word knowledge, arithmetic reasoning and math knowledge sections of the ASVAB test.
Bowman said a lot of Sailors' initial scores were sufficient to get them into the Navy, but now those scores could hold them back from striking into a rate or cross rating through the Navy's Perform to Serve (PTS) program. PTS is designed to strengthen the Navy by making sure only the best performers and highest qualified personnel are retained.
"We have a lot of Sailors who want to convert to a different rate," said Bowman. "Retaking the ASVAB gives us more rates to choose from when we submit PTS requests. The more rates Sailors qualify for, the more chances they have to convert."
This course will not only assist the Sailors with converting, but it will also help them in other areas of their job.
"Command-wise, if you have Sailors who are actually going out there finding an interest in trying to improve themselves, I think ultimately they perform better," said Bowman. "Also, when people get in the habit of studying, it will help on the advancement tests. The constant habit of studying and preparing for advancement exams and tests keeps their minds thinking."
Fireman Jaylene Chamorroortiz, from Truman's reactor department, is striking to be a Naval Air Crewman. She said the word knowledge portion of the course is especially helpful because English is not her first language.
"This class makes me feel encouraged because I'm gaining more knowledge for the future," said Chamorroortiz.
Many students attending the class expressed gratitude for the opportunity they have been offered, and said they were optimistic about the impact it would have on their careers.
"I like the class," said Damage Controlman Fireman Travonn Thomas, from Truman's engineering department. "I wanted to retake the ASVAB to cross rate. It will help open up my choices of ratings to choose from."
ESO plans to conduct more ASVAB preparation classes in the future.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.