Halsey Earns ESWS Pennant
Story Number: NNS070912-10
Release Date: 9/12/2007 2:28:00 PM
By Lt. j.g. Callie D. Ferrari, USS Halsey Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Halsey (DDG 97) earned the Silver Surface Warfare Excellence Pennant Aug. 31 after achieving 100-percent Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) qualification by enlisted personnel in pay grades E-5 through E-9.
The ESWS designation is awarded to Sailors demonstrating subject-matter familiarity in all shipboard systems, each warfare area and overall military knowledge. Each of Halsey’s ESWS candidates completed a rigorous six-month training program, culminating in an oral board administered by senior members of the ship’s Chief Petty Officer’s Mess.
“I devoted countless hours of study to qualify ESWS," said Gunner's Mate 2nd Class (SW) Marcia Villavicencio, aboard Halsey. “It was a long road, but getting to wear this pin means a lot to me.”
In order to increase the success of the ESWS program, Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) (SW/AW) Matthew Papillion, who took over the program six months ago, reorganized the curriculum into topic-based training weeks. Each week has a different emphasis, including hands-on training, walk-throughs and classroom discussions.
“Achieving the ESWS qualification is one of the major milestones in a Sailor’s career,” Papillion said. “It takes hard work, focus and true determination for a Sailor to obtain his or her ESWS qualification. Being qualified ESWS is also imperative for advancement.”
Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW) Benito Salinas, who is Halsey’s assistant ESWS coordinator, said “the process is lengthy and very intense,” requiring each candidate to complete pre-requisites including common core and ship-specific qualification books, a written exam and a pre-board, administered prior to the final board.
Information Systems Technician Seaman (SW) Matthew Perez, Halsey’s most junior ESWS recipient, was given the honor of raising the ESWS pennant.
“This was a great accomplishment for me, and I hope it makes other seamen know they can accomplish the same,” said Perez. “Getting to raise the pennant for the command made the hard work even more worthwhile.”
“We’re incredibly proud of our newly ESWS qualified Sailors who balanced our ship’s demanding schedule with a lot of studying,” said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Kevin Exler. “Earning the pennant is a great reward, and we will continue working hard.”
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