Thursday, February 18, 2010

FLTCM Tom Howard visits with Everett Sailors

By MC3 Crishanda Underland

Fleet Master Chief (SW/AW) Tom Howard visited Naval Station Everett to speak with Sailors at the Navy Operational Support Center Feb. 9.
Howard held an All Hands call for the Sailors of Naval Station Everett and then a separate presentation for Sailors who have completed or were about to embark on Individual Augmentee (IA) billets.
For the All Hands, Howard answered questions of Sailors about the Navy including IA missions, Uniform Regulations, and how the Navy works and how the Sailors can change it for the better.
Advancement was a topic that was brought up and gave Howard a chance to explain the importance of preparing oneself for the advancement exam.
“If you are up for the exam this coming cycle and not already studying for it you are doing yourself a disservice,” said Howard. “You want to sit down in front of your exam and know in your heart that you did everything humanly possible to prepare yourself for that test.”
Howard talked about Tuition Assistance, why Sailors should take advantage of it and pursue an education while in the Navy.
“It’s not rocket science,” says Howard. “We want you to help us help you.”

One of the questions raised was about the Navy Working Uniform (NWU) and when and where they could be worn.
Howard explained that the NWUs could be worn on base anywhere unless the Sailor worked in a certain area of the Front Office based on location and command.
As an example, NSE Command Master Chief Schanche pointed out to Sailors that for NSE, as they didn’t work on the same deck the Commanding Officer does and weren’t in a front office or customer service environment, they can wear the NWUs. Those that work in the specified areas wear the Service Uniform.
“I think our Sailors look good in the Navy Working Uniform,” says Howard. “I think they like to wear it.”
On the subject of looking professional, cell phone usage in uniform was brought up.
“I personally don’t think that there is anything professional about walking and talking on your cell phone when in uniform,” says Howard.
The IA gathering was meant to be a chance for Sailors to share their experiences and concerns regarding the IA program. Questions about training, financing, and other aspects of such missions were brought forth and discussed by Howard and the rest of the group.
“US Navy Sailors are doing things today that no other service does,” says Howard. “We have Sailors serving on ships, our Navy; Sailors in our Airplanes with our Air Force; and Sailors serving on the ground side-by-side our fellow Marines and Soldiers. The sky is the limit for us.” --Fleet sends