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Local sailors take part in training
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Navy Seaman Melissa A. Burnett, Navy Seaman LaShelle S. Howard and their command, USS George H.W. Bush, homeported in Norfolk, Va., recently earned the privilege of flying the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist pennants.
The pennants signify that all eligible sailors have qualified in both the ESWS and EAWS programs. In order to qualify, sailors must demonstrate knowledge in the warfare capabilities of all the ship’s departments. To do this, sailors are required to train in many jobs and obtain more than 400 signatures certifying that they understand the workings of the specific jobs.
After the requirements are met, sailors must pass a 200-question written exam and an oral board chaired by a senior or master chief.
Command Master Chief John W. Hick said the Bush is qualifying sailors at a rate of more than 100 per month.
“It’s a difficult challenge for a command of this size,” Hick said. “The spirit and motivation from the crew with these programs is awe-inspiring. Because we understand the warfare insignia is the mark of a true professional, we take the programs seriously.”
The warfare programs were created between 1978-1980 to help sailors gain a level of qualification and knowledge beyond the normal level required for advancement.
Burnett is the daughter of Linda and Dennis Cottros of Midway. She is a 2004 graduate of Liberty County High School and joined the Navy in January 2008.
Howard is the daughter of Dora and Morris Jones of Ludowici. She is a 2008 graduate of Long County High School.
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