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Chief of Naval Personnel Visits USS Enterprise

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS110527-03

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jesse L. Gonzalez, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

USS ENTERPRISE, At sea (NNS) -- The Navy's top manpower officer visited Sailors aboard the deployed aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) May 26.

Vice Adm. Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel, toured the ship, visited ready rooms, wardrooms and the ship's main deck, determined to speak with as many Sailors as he could.

He conducted an all hands call with Enterprise and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1 crew members in the ship's hangar bay, where he addressed questions about retention, training, deployment opportunities and changes in the Navy, a force that he described as an "employer of choice" across the United States.

"With the G.I. Bill, tuition assistance and fully funded healthcare for you and your family, the compensation and benefits package (for the military) is better than any private company right now," Ferguson said during his all hands address. "People are waiting to join, and people want to stay (in the Navy)."

Ferguson spoke about what Perform-to-Serve (PTS) and the Enlisted Retention Board (ERB) means to Enterprise Sailors. He said his efforts are focused on making the PTS and ERB processes as fair as possible, while recognizing the current high retention rates in the Navy.

"Our young Sailors are the best we've ever had. They have the highest ASVAB scores, they're physically fit, they're extraordinary people, and they want to move up and get advanced. They want to be promoted. We're focusing on making room for them," Ferguson said.

Ferguson stressed that Sailors should take control of their careers and be aware of the benefits of continued military service and how to take full advantage of them. Ferguson then warned that there can be consequences for those who don't strive to be the best Sailor they can be.

"If an individual is not meeting our standards for behavior, conduct and performance, be they officer or enlisted, I'm going to ask that individual to leave, because I have someone else who wants to stay. There are good Sailors who want to reenlist," said Ferguson.

Ferguson also complimented the hard work and incredible effort put forth by the crew to complete the mission at hand.

"In terms of the quality, in terms of the people, we've never had a force this good," he said. "Thank you for your continued, extraordinary service to our nation."

Ferguson is responsible for the overall manpower readiness of the Navy. He leads more than 20,000 military and civilian employees engaged in the recruiting, personnel management, training and development of Navy personnel.

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