PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- A group of eight Navy Culinary Specialist Submarine (CSS) chiefs broke new ground June 4 - 15 by writing advancement exam questions specific to their rating during an Advancement Exam Readiness Review (AERR) at Saufley Field in Pensacola.
Previously, all Culinary Specialists took the same advancement exams, even though the submarine specialty was identified as its own rating in March 2017.
Chief Culinary Specialist Submarine Kip Farrell, Leading CS at the Naval Submarine Support Center Pearl Harbor, and panel member for the CSS AERR, noted that a significant amount of submarine-specific knowledge is required in his rating.
"The submarine force is presented with unique challenges that you don't find in the surface fleet," said Farrell. "By really focusing on the test and what applies to the submarine side of being a CSS, we are going down the path of what will make us a better warfighting unit under the water, and it will make us more capable, more ready, and more efficient in our jobs."
Another member of the CSS AERR panel, Chief Culinary Specialist Submarine Timothy Maier, Supply Department Enlisted Advisor for USS New Hampshire (SSN 778), said that the new CSS bibliography gives his Sailors a clear path to study.
"One benefit of having submarine-specific questions for our rating exam is that it gets the junior guys into the books and makes them read the references," said Maier. "On the old exams, since much of the test didn't apply to submarine Culinary Specialists, it was 'Why should I study?' Now the bibliographies are pinpointed to the CSS rating, so it gets both the senior and junior guys into the books."
The CSS chiefs were part of the ongoing AERR process that seeks Navy chiefs (E7 - E9) interested in shaping the future of their ratings. AERR panel members worked as Fleet subject matter experts (SME) for their respective ratings to develop E4 - E7 advancement exams for future cycles, verifying and updating the exam question bank.
Naval Administrative Message (NAVADMIN) 134/18 announced the latest AERR schedule: July to September 2018. Navy chiefs (E7 - E9) on active duty, Full Time Support (FTS), and reservists on Active Duty for Special Work (ADSW) are encouraged to take part in the process by reaching out to their respective Type Commander (TYCOMs) and community sponsors for application information. Each TYCOM has their own application procedure.
"The knowledge that our fleet experts bring to the reviews is irreplaceable, as that's what enables the relevance of the exams and identifies Sailors with the right skills to select for advancement," said Master Chief Electronics Technician (Nuclear) James Berhalter, Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center (NETPDC) Command Master Chief. "As the CSS chiefs here these two weeks have seen, AERRs give chiefs a tangible, direct input toward shaping their community - participants have a say in what their reliefs need to know. AERR participation is also a significant experience and resume builder that will benefit every chief throughout the Navy."
AERRs vary in length from one-to-two weeks and exam readiness reviews are held throughout the year, with each specific rating being reviewed on an annual basis. The reviews are held at NETPDC at Saufley Field in Pensacola, Fla. AERR Participants receive temporary duty (TDY) orders from their parent command, paid for by NETPDC. Travel is processed through parent command travel section and the Defense Travel System.
"Being part of an AERR board is eye-opening; it's an experience a lot of people don't get the opportunity to be part of within their career," added Maier. "I'm going to go back and tell our chiefs that if you ever have the chance, then do it. Not only are you leaving your mark on the rating for the next exams, you are shaping the future of the CSS community."
To view the annual AERR schedule, locate a specific rating recruitment and selection point of contact, or view AERR eligibility requirements, log into My Navy Portal www.mnp.navy.mil and search under Professional Resources/Navy Advancement Center/AERR. TYCOM and rating sponsor POCs are listed, and once selected, chiefs will receive an introductory e-mail from the Navy Advancement Center. It is suggested that SME selectees make early contact, asking any questions they have concerning the AERR process. NAVADMIN 134/18 also provides additional information and a listing of upcoming rating conferences scheduled for the next six months.
Normally, four-to-eight nominees will be selected for each AERR panel. TYCOM selections of Fleet SME nominations for the AERRs will be made 45 days prior to each review. SMEs should contact their command's travel personnel as soon as they are selected to get an early start on the process. SMEs attending classified AERRs should make sure their SIPR Token, if they have one, is active and they have recent access (within the last 30 days) to important reference sites.
NETPDC's mission is to provide products and services that enable and enhance education, training, career development, and personnel advancement throughout the Navy. Primary elements of the command include the Voluntary Education (VOLED) Department, the Navy Advancement Center (NAC), and the Resources Management Department.
For more information about the Navy Advancement Center and the Navy Enlisted Advancement System, visit https://www.facebook.com/Navy-Advancement-Center/.
For more information on NETPDC visit: https://www.netc.navy.mil/netc/netpdc/Default.htm
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Naval Education And Training Professional Development Center, visit www.navy.mil/local/NETPDTC/.