PORTSMOUTH, Va (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) began preparing for the Navy advancement exams Aug. 13.
Truman saw 196 crewmembers advance in the March advancement cycle and the Sailors preparing for the September exams are working hard to join them in their success.
"Good mentorship helped me be successful," said Chief Damage Controlman (Select) Matthew Rzepnicki, from Truman's engineering department. "I had a lot of great chiefs. They weren't all damage controlmen. I was in security, and the chief master-at-arms in charge of the brig was my leading chief petty officer. She was a great mentor. She actually helped me prepare for my exam and she assisted me with collateral duties and told me what I should do to expand my horizons."
Rzepnicki, who began his Navy career undesignated, said he was able to advance quickly by properly preparing for each advancement exam. He said one of the best studying methods is writing down key points onto note cards, rather than reading entire manuals. Rzepnicki said while studying is important, evaluations are a large part of the advancement process.
"Everything we do goes into our evaluations, so it is every Sailor's responsibility to keep track of our accomplishments," said Rzepnicki.
Rzepnicki said that effectively studying for the advancement exam takes discipline, with time management being the biggest obstacle for Sailors to overcome.
"You have to set aside personal time, at least an hour a day just to study," said Rzepnicki. "While it's the senior Sailor's responsibility to assist their junior personnel in getting the information, it's really the junior person's responsibility to study. It takes a lot of time and effort on each person's part."
Hospital Corpsman Logan Wright, from dental department, said he has study material on a disc and has been helped by his shipmates who have provided him with material from the advancement bibliography.
"There are a lot of questions about the body and teeth for this exam," said Wright. "I'm a little nervous, especially knowing that I have only a month to study, but at the same time I'm confident and I think I can do this."
Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Link, from supply department, said his first advancement exam taught him the importance of studying.
"It took me three times to make third class," said Link. "The first two tests I didn't study much. The only thing someone can really control is their studying habits."
The advancement exams will be conducted for petty officer first class candidates Sept. 6, for petty officer second class candidates Sept. 13, and for petty officer third class candidates Sept. 20 at Scott Annex in Portsmouth, Va.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.