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Taking Care of Our Shipmates

On Jan. 17 Naval Station Norfolk hosted a Naval Sea Systems Command sponsored “Shipmates to Workmates” forum to assist Sailors who are transitioning from military to civilian careers.  Programs and job fairs like this help our Sailors find and compete for jobs in the private sector by facilitating opportunities to learn more about transition resources, get assistance with job applications and help prepare for the move from military to civilian life.

While visiting the job fair, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mark Ferguson spoke with Sailors in attendance about career opportunities and the transition benefits available to them and their families.

Below Admiral Ferguson discusses force-balancing initiatives, transition benefits for service members leaving the Navy and shares what hiring support he has encouraged our industry partners to provide.  He concludes by recapping recent feedback he has received on the great work our Sailors are doing fleet-wide.

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The Navy is a great place to be because of things like our retirement plan, education benefits, compensation, heath care, but most importantly because of the ability to serve the nation in such a rewarding profession.  We are seeing a great value placed on this by the youth of America who want to join the Navy and by our service members who want to stay for a career.  For those Sailors who are unable to stay with us or those who are going to transition, we want to reward them for their service.  We want to assist them and their families in finding opportunities to continue to develop professionally and to continue to serve and grow as model citizens.

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I would ask that all of our Sailors-not just those affected by the ERB-take advantage of these shipmate to workmate job fairs and the wide variety of transition benefits available to all of our people.  The full list and explanation of these benefits is available on the Naval Personnel Command website in the transition handbook.  I would encourage Sailors looking to transition within the next year to take advantage of this great opportunity.  We want to ensure that those Sailors who have served so magnificently, both afloat and ashore, have made available to them every opportunity to be successful in their transition.

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At the recent Surface Navy Association Symposium I had the opportunity to meet with many of our industry partners who are building the systems of our future force.  I asked them to look at hiring our Sailors-our men and women who are coming off terrific operational tours that gave them great experience.  These individuals are technically trained, highly motivated and physically fit. They are ready to begin work in the private sector force and continue the impact and service they gave while on active duty. I got great response from industry and look forward to future job fairs where we can grow this partnership as we both seek to retain the talent and build future Navy together.

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As I travel around the fleet what strikes me is the enthusiasm of all our Sailors, their sense of purpose, and the dedication for the success of the mission they are given to achieve.  They are taking care of each other both afloat and ashore.  Everywhere I go our Sailors are performing magnificently day in and day out-meeting the requirements and desire of our combatant commanders around the globe.  Our Navy truly is a “Global Force for Good,” and that force for good starts with our people.

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