PORTSMOUTH, Va (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (GHWB) (CVN 77) received the Retention Excellence Award for fiscal 2015, Dec. 24.
The award, announced by Commander, United States Fleet Forces Command, is given to commands that pass the annual Career Information Program Review (CIPR) with a score of 90 points or better and meet benchmarks showing commitment to the growth and development of Sailors.
GHWB's CIPR score was 96 percent. Retention Excellence awardees are authorized to fly the Retention Excellence pennant and ships are authorized to paint their anchors gold.
"Keeping our Sailors informed has been a contributing factor to our high retention rate," said Chief Navy Counselor Jascha Janssen, the lead career counselor on GHWB. "A Sailor who knows their options for their career, in and out of the Navy, is better prepared to make a decision on whether to reenlist or not."
Less than 150 collateral duty career counselors support a crew of more than 3,000 Sailors aboard GHWB.
"I'm very proud of our whole team of counselors," said Senior Chief Navy Counselor Kim Lewis, the senior career counselor aboard GHWB. "From the beginning of your career until the end of it, a Sailor is going to have a career counselor looking out for them. It's our job to make sure that a Sailor has the tools to make the best decision for their future."
Lewis said the career counselor's commitment to a Sailor's future is essential to retention, as well as recruiting.
"If we do right by our Sailors, and treat them the right way, both the Sailor and the command will be successful," said Lewis. "Even if a Sailor chooses to separate from service, looking back they will know their best interests were being looked out for, and maybe they'll spread the word to others who may be considering serving."
According to Janssen, consistent career development boards (CDBs) are fundamental for successfully retaining Sailors. These boards are intended to let Sailors set goals for their future, as well as learn about available career options.
"We conduct around 500 CDBs per month," said Janssen. "They're an opportunity to have honest conversations with Sailors about what they want for their future. Some Sailors don't know all their options until they have a CDB. Whether it involves the Navy or not, we want the Sailor to have the best opportunity to succeed."
Bush is currently undergoing its planned incremental availability maintenance period at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth.
For more news from USS George H.W. Bush visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn77 or www.facebook.com/ussgeorgehwbush/.