NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- One of the perks of serving aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford is the opportunity to be reenlisted by a president's daughter. Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, and the ship's sponsor, administered the oath of enlistment to 24 members of the crew, Nov. 8.
The ceremony, part of the larger ship's christening ceremony activities, marked a milestone in the Sailors' careers, a decision to continue their service to the Navy for another four to six years.
"I'm very excited to be reenlisting," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dianna Ehlers. "I wanted this for a long time. When we found out we had the opportunity to be reenlisted by Susan Ford Bales, we rallied together to make sure all the paperwork was completed on time so we could be ready for today."
Before Bales administered the oath, the ship's Reactor Officer Capt. Jason Lloyd officially discharged the Sailors from the Navy.
"Reenlistment ceremonies are one of the most personally rewarding events that I have the opportunity to participate in as an officer," said Lloyd. "I get to help Sailors navigate through their career and watch them make decisions that will affect their lives and the Navy for years to come."
The christening ceremony, scheduled for Nov. 9, will add to the historical significance of the Sailors' careers.
"The Sailors reenlisting today will have a special connection to the ship because of Susan Ford Bales' involvement as well as being part of the christening of the ship," said Lloyd. "One day, they will reflect back and say, 'I helped bring the ship to life and I also furthered my career that day.'"
After Susan Ford Bales administered the oath, she spoke to the Sailors, expressing her excitement about their commitment to the Navy and to the ship named for her father.
"Thank you for asking me to do this," said Bales. "That was really cool."
PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first in a new class of aircraft carriers. The last aircraft carrier to serve as the lead ship in a new class was USS Nimitz, christened in 1972. PCU Gerald R. Ford is the most advanced warship in the history of the world.
For more information about the crew of PCU Gerald R. Ford go to https://www.facebook.com/#!/USSGeraldRFord
For more news from Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn78/.