SILVERDALE, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Pacific Fleet honored eight Naval Base Kitsap submarines with the "Golden Anchor" for retention excellence Dec. 5 for fiscal year 2006.
The Golden Anchor is awarded to commands that meet or exceed reenlistment goals of 53 percent for first term Sailors, 64 percent for Sailors completing their second enlistment and 85 percent for Sailors with more than 10 to 16 years.
Recipients are also recognized for maintaining an attrition rate equal to or less than 6.2 percent for two or more quarters of the fiscal year.
"There are a lot of deciding factors that take part in whether a Sailor will reenlist or not," said Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) David Light, Naval Submarine Support Center career counselor. "Selective reenlistment bonuses are helpful reminders why Sailors choose to 'Stay Navy.' There are several reenlistment programs out there that Sailors can take advantage of such as the guaranteed assignment upon reenlistment duty (GUARD) program, which is designed to put Sailors where they want to be."
When earning the Golden Anchor award, submarines are authorized to fly a retention excellence pennant, which symbolizes their overall morale and leadership. This representation of the submariners' achievement makes it more appealing for Sailors to stay Navy.
GUARD, as well as the Selective Training and Reenlistment (STAR) and Selective Conversion and Reenlistment (SCORE) programs are used to entice Sailors to continue their service.
Light said Sailors also use their experiences to make their decisions to stay in.
"Some choose to reenlist because of what they see when they are on leave," said Light. "They notice how much the job market has changed since their enlistment and how they are getting more exposure to the world in comparison to their friends."
Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Rick Hicks, a career counselor aboard USS San Francisco (SSN 711), said winning the award is an achievement that brings recognition to career counselors, but the real prize is helping the Sailors make sound career choices.
"Winning the Golden Anchor is a big deal in the career counselor world because it shows the command's focus on our Sailors' careers and their well being," said Light. "The most effective way to keeping people in is simply checking up on them through career review boards. It gives the Sailors a voice."
The following submarines received the Golden Anchor Award: USS Alabama (SSBN 731) (Gold), USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) (Gold), USS Nevada (SSBN 733) (Blue), USS Jimmy Carter (SSN 23), USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) (Gold), USS Nevada (SSBN 733) (Gold), USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) (Gold) and USS San Francisco (SSN-711).
For more news about the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnrnw.
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