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USS San Francisco Goes Gold

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070515-04
Release Date: 5/15/2007 8:32:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW/NAC) Eric J. Rowley, Fleet Public Affairs Center Detachment Northwest

BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- USS San Francisco (SSN 711) painted their anchor gold March 7, in honor of winning the retention excellence award 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 10 to 16 years.

“I reenlisted because of my family and the love of the job,” said Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (SS) Daniel Rodriguez.

“Painting the anchor gold makes me feel like I’m part of something the San Francisco has done in a positive outlook. I’m glad the San Francisco is looked at in a constructive light.”

Recipients of the Golden Anchor 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.

“I think we earned this award because our senior leadership has taken the time to understand our Sailor's needs,” said Command Master Chief (SS) Brian Schell, San Francisco chief of the boat. “We have set up many morale boosting events for our Sailors to do and they promote teamwork at the same time.”

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.

Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Rick Hicks, San Francisco command career counselor 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.

“It is attributed to the command career counselor, but it’s really the efforts of the whole command -- and it’s a testament of how we all work together,” said Hicks. “The guys take care of each other and they get the job done, so they get time off. This improves crew morale and in turn makes them want to stay Navy.”

The command gives their Sailors career development boards (CDB) quarterly to grasp what their career intentions are. Hicks said the quarterly CDBs help keep the Sailors moving forward in their career paths and makes room for the junior guys to advance.

“The San Francisco is a good command,” Machinist’s Mate 1st Class (SS) Michael Diamond, machinery division. “I am reenlisting because I’m starting a family and the security is the most important thing to me. The command has had a lot of improvements in the area of morale, and I think that has played a roll in retention.”

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