USS NIMITZ, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducted a career fair on the ship's aft mess decks July 21.
"One of the Navy career counselors jobs is to provide information to the crew," said Chief Navy Counselor Dean Miller, a career counselor aboard Nimitz. "One of the most successful ways to accomplish that task is to hold a career fair. We floated the idea up the chain of command, who were receptive and supportive of this combined event, and were given the green light."
Volunteers for the event taught Sailors about opportunities to advance their careers through commissioning programs, educational opportunities and special assignments that include recruiting and instructor duties.
"If Sailors are interested in molding the future of the Navy as an instructor, I want to encourage them to do that," said Chief Electronics Technician Timothy Hoover, an administrative leading chief petty officer for the "Blue Diamonds" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 currently embarked with Nimitz.
Another opportunity Sailors had the chance to learn about was serving at Recruit Training Command (RTC), helping to mold newly recruited Sailors at the Navy's only enlisted boot camp.
"Depending on a Sailor's paygrade, serving as a recruit division commander (RDC) can help advance their career a lot," said Chief Yeoman Joel Campbell, a former RDC at RTC.
Sailors seeking to serve in special operations forces or in the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) field were guided on paths they would need to take to be eligible for those duties.
"I really enjoy talking to the EOD guys," said Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Joseph Janelle, a Sailor who visited the career fair. "I've been trying for EOD. They're helping me out with that."
The event was conducted on a Sunday, with many of Nimitz' Sailors off duty for holiday routine. This allowed for many Sailors to take their time and visit multiple stations at the fair.
"There are two things that are a prime commodity for an aircraft carrier: time and space" said Miller. "We were able to nail down a space and a time that would maximize the use of talent on board and reach the majority of the crew. This was truly a combined effort."
Sailors from a variety of different ratings and paygrades advised the participants. These volunteers offered the participants pamphlets, instruction and advice.
"This is a nice forum for young Sailors wanting to do something beyond what they're doing here on the ship," said Hoover. "It helps them decide what they want for their future in the Navy."
With participation from Sailors with experience from many different opportunities and assignments, Nimitz' career fair provided the crew with information on how to make the most of their futures.
"We're allowing Sailors to benefit from the experience of people who have done certain jobs," said Hoover. "Holding career fairs like this in the Navy is important."
"Sometimes we tend to forget about taking time out of our schedule to talk about our careers because we are so focused on the mission," said Miller. "This career fair offered an opportunity to have subject matter experts provide answers to the crew. We wanted to highlight the incredible jobs the Navy has to offer when it is your time to roll to shore duty."
Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.
For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.