USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN73) took on an extra role as the Navy's largest floating classroom, June 7, 2011.
"I want Sailors to have a better understanding of their job. It's an important part of this ship's mission readiness," said Executive Officer Capt. Kenneth Reynard when speaking of one of the ship's newest programs - 3M Power Hour.
Introduced during a routine maintenance period, 3M Power Hour kick-starts a Sailor's day by offering both in-rate and professional Navy training. The hour-long class is held twice rach week and covers the maintenance and material management aboard ship. Sailors gain the ability to confidently perform maintenance throughout the ship as well as a general knowledge of how the ship's systems and fittings function.
3M Power Hour is a "win-win" for the ship and her crew while another program, School of the Ship, is a little more one-sided in the Sailor's favor, helping Sailors further their individual careers in the Navy.
"I can't give you a pay raise, but I can give you time to study and get ready for your advancement exams," said Command Master Chief Martin King. "We owe it to our Sailors to help them succeed."
Lead by senior enlisted Sailors, School of Ship is held once a week. The one-hour class covers different topic specific to that Sailor's rate. George Washington's leadership is hoping the program will result in higher advancement numbers.
"It's not only important that Sailors have a strong understanding of their rate, which School of the Ship offers, but we also want Sailors to have the opportunity to receive test taking tips and on hand knowledge from the E7 and above in their rate," said Reynard.
School of the Ship isn't the only program onboard to help Sailors make the most of their Navy career. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) improvement course helps those who initially did not do well on the test.
The ASVAB is an aptitude battery that measures an individual's abilities and helps predict their future academic and occupational success in the military.
"The ASVAB improvement course has been very successful," said Navy Counselor Master Chief Oscar Feaster. "These classes are designed to widen the scope of opportunity for Sailors on board, whether it's through their naval career or their future outside of the Navy. The ASVAB improvement course opens up more rates to Sailors who want to cross-rate and also qualifies those who want to stay in their rate to make rank more quickly."
Thirty-three George Washington Sailors have taken the ASVAB prep class with 28 earning a higher score their second time around. That doesn't just give those Sailors additional options, it could also keep them employed. With the current performance initiatives, Sailors need to qualify for as many rates as possible should they need to cross rate in order to continue their Navy career.
"The ASVAB class really helped me out," said Airman Apprentice Felicia Watters. "I wanted to make sure I had as many choices and opportunities as possible with my career in the Navy.
I needed to improve my score for that to happen."
As the ship begins powering up for its summer patrol, it appears aboard George Washington, education is already full steam ahead.
George Washington's mission is to ensure security and stability in the western Pacific and work with our regional partner nations to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum as directed.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.