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Inside this Issue: Tools of the Trade | Free Mail | Ratings at Risk VOL 2 / NO 34 April 5, 2011

Story by MC2 (SW) Ashley Van Dien USS Carl Vinson Staff Writer

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ne unexpected event, whether it’s a car accident or an ill family member, can overwhelm even the most financially prepared Navy family. Fortunately, the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), a non-profit charity organization, is available to assist Navy and Marine Corps personnel and their loved ones in times of need. Senior Chief Electrician’s Mate (SW/AW) Jeffery Hoffman,

from Reactor Department Electrical Division, was assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in San Diego, when he learned that his step-daughter in Charleston, S.C. was diagnosed with cancer in February 2010. “Her family there was not very supportive, and I needed to get my wife out to South Carolina,” said Hoffman. “The news placed a lot of pressure on us, more financial than anything else. We wondered, ‘How do we get a hold of all this money to send her down there?’ That was a tremendous burden.” So Hoffman turned to the NMCRS for help, and the command See`RELIEF` page 2

The Carl Vinson Voice is an internal document produced by and for the crew of the USS Carl Vinson and their families. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government or the Departments of Defense or the Navy and do not imply any endorsement thereby.

U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Byron C. Linder


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From `RELIEF` page 1

STAFF

coordinator set up flight, rental car and hotel arrangements and granted him a loan. “As soon as NMCRS helped me out, that lifted that whole burden and she was able to go down there and take care of her daughter without worrying about us at home much at all,” said Hoffman. Thanks to the NMCRS, Hoffman’s wife was able to spend a month with her daughter during further tests and initial chemotherapy treatment. “To actually be there with her for that first part of it made a huge amount of difference to my wife and my daughter,” said Hoffman. “She has kids of her own, and my wife was able to bring them over to visit with her.” Hoffman said he was tremendously thankful for what the NMCRS provided him and without their help, he wouldn’t have been able to send his wife to take care of their daughter while she was going through cancer treatment. At this time, a little over one year later, Hoffman’s daughter is cancer-free. Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Brown, from Intel Department, was thankful for the NMCRS in 2008 when he was stationed on Carl Vinson in Newport News, Va. and got into a car accident. At the time, Brown was in between paychecks and didn’t know how he was going to pay $300 out of pocket to get his car back from the auto repair shop, and pay for a rental car, insurance and gas on top of the bills he already had. “I was very stressed,” said Brown. “This was my first car I’d ever bought. I got in an accident and I wondered ‘How am I going to pay for everything?’ I didn’t know until I told some people about the accident and my Shipmates told me about how NMCRS can help with auto troubles and gas money.” Brown said it was a simple process that took about 30-45 minutes. He only had to submit a bank statement and fill out leave and earning statement (LES) paperwork. Even in the midst of the annual NMCRS fund drive, currently underway until Apr. 30, some Sailors might be hesitant to donate because they are under the false impression that NMCRS helps Publisher

Capt. Bruce H. Lindsey Commanding Officer Executive Editors

Lt. Cmdr. Erik Reynolds Public Affairs Officer

Lt. Erik Schneider

Deputy Public Affairs Officer Managing Editor MC2(SW) Ashley Van Dien Photo Editor MC2(SW)James R. Evans Layout and Design MC3 Patrick Green Staff Writers/Photographers MC2 Byron C. Linder MC3 (SW) Lori D. Bent MC3 Christopher K. Hwang MC3 Travis K. Mendoza

only those paying the price for irresponsibility, but Brown’s an example that even the best-laid plans can’t always help in the event of an emergency. Brown said that while you can pretty easily fill out the paperwork for a “quick-assist” $300 loan, you have to interview for more than that amount, and NMCRS will verify that you actually do need the money. Brown encourages Sailors who find themselves in a tough spot to consider NMCRS, because too many people fall prey to predatory lenders who appear to give lend money freely but then cause significant problems with skyrocketing interest rates. With NMCRS, it’s $300 you simply pay back interest-free. He also encourages Sailors to give back to the organization that gives so much to those in need. “Since I received assistance from NMCRS, I pay it forward and donate each time. It really does help,” said Brown. “You should donate if you can, because you never know when you might be that person that needs it themselves.” “Most Sailors just know of NMCRS for providing small loans and grants in times of emergency like car repairs, dental bills, rent or utilities,” said Lt. Erik Schneider, Carl Vinson’s NMCRS co-chairperson. “But they’re really much more. They also provide support services like financial counseling, education loans and grants, nursing services, thrift shops, infant layettes and food lockers.” Last year, Carl Vinson’s annual NMCRS fundraising campaign raised just under $86,000 while nearly 700 Carl Vinson Sailors received more than $300,000 in loans and grants from NMCRS. Hoffman believes in donating to the NMCRS because it is an organization that facilitates Sailors helping Sailors. “We always believe in taking care of Shipmates, and donating to NMCRS is one of the easiest ways to do that,” said Hoffman. “Between loans and grants, it’s all non-profit. Basically, it is our money that takes care of each other.” As Carl Vinson conducts its annual fund drive, Sailors have an opportunity to give back to this organization a number of ways, from allotments and cash donations to participating in raffles where they can win shipboard perks and prizes.

DID YOU KNOW...

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a resource for all a duty and retired Sailors, Marines, and their families – wh you’re single, married, or divorced? A substantial am

of our financial assistance goes to service members families because they often face more budgetary prob However, the Society renders financial assistance to ever – regardless of marital status. Check out the programs and services available through local Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Office. We m able to help you!


April 5, 2011

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Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Shane Maurin paints a railing on the fantail Mar. 30, part of a regular regimen of preservation maintenance the fantail requires because of its high traffic and exposure to saltwater spray. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) James R. Evans

active hether

mount with blems. ryone

h your may be

N M C R S FUND DRIVE

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT LT. SCHNEIDER AT 6788 -OR- EMC (SW/AW) LEVIN AT 6505


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Carl Vinson Voice

Of The Trade Hospital Corpsmen

Story by MC3 Travis K. Mendoza USS Carl Vinson Staff Writer

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he Hospital Corpsmen in Carl Vinson’s Medical Department provide health care to Sailors on board Vinson using various tools and instruments. “One of the most common tools we use is the vital signs machine,” explained Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Liberty Raposas, assigned to Vinson’s Medical Department. “It measures a patient’s blood pressure, temperature and the oxygen levels in their blood. It is a first line of defense for us.” Upon first arrival to Medical, a patient will be greeted by a Corpsman who will review their medical record, then obtain their vital signs. This gives the doctor a good overview of the patient’s current condition. “After gathering all of this information from the patient we pass it along to the doctor,” continued Raposas. “Another very

important tool that we use is a patient’s medical record. Inside the record is an upto-date account of the patient’s medical history. We can use the record to tell us exactly what the patient needs as far as immunizations and things of that nature.” Corpsmen undergo regular training in their department to stay familiar with common medical procedures. Some of these procedures may not be obvious to their patients. “On first reference to a patient, we generally count respiration,” said Raposas. “The patient may not know it, but we are actually counting breaths while we are having a conversation with them.” When emergencies happen onboard Vinson, Medical is readily equipped with what they call a ‘Crash Cart’. Inside this cart are the tools necessary to save a patient’s life. “The crash cart is comprised of five to six drawers,” explained Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Jere Vaflor, assigned to Vinson’s Medical Department. “Inside those drawers you will find things such

as epinephrine, IV tubes, wound care dressings along with extra things like glove and syringes.” Along with finding certain medications inside the cart, you will find defibrillators. If a patient’s heart stops beating, Corpsman can use this device to send an electrical impulse to their heart. “If a patient goes into shock or their heart stops we are able to use defibrillators to essentially ‘jump-start’ their heart to get them pumping blood throughout their body again,” said Vaflor. With many of these tools being used on a daily basis, Vaflor stressed the importance of cleanliness in the work space. “If you are not keeping the tools that you use clean, it just makes it that much easier for the germs to keep spreading. For us as medical providers, it’s part of our code to keep things clean.” Vaflor went on to say that it is imperative that Sailors keep their medical record upto-date, which helps Corpsman decide what tools are necessary to provide the right type of health care.


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U.S. Navy photos by MC3 Christopher K. Hwang & MC2 (SW) James R. Evans


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Free Mail Lets Sailors Keep in Touch Story by MC3 (SW) Lori D. Bent USS Carl Vinson Staff Writer

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arl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 Sailors can still send some mail items home for free. Since Feb. 1, Carl Vinson and Team Quicksand Sailors have had free mail privileges and may continue to send free mail while operating in areas that directly support military operations, such as the North Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf areas. Free mail is limited to all letter-class mail 13 ounces or less such as letters, postcards and audio or video recordings used for personal correspondence sent to any place within the United States, any possession of the United States or military post office (APO/FPO). Written correspondence can establish an important link to home and contribute to morale for both Sailors and their family members. “Take advantage of this opportunity to save some money and communicate with family,” said Vinson’s Postal Officer, Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Noe Nesmith. “Once we leave the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) then mail will no longer be sent without cost.” When engaged in combat or directly supporting military operations, United States Code (U.S.C.) 3401 authorizes

free mail privileges for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and designated civilians. The word “free” must be hand-written by the mailer in the upper right corner and a complete military APO or FPO return address placed on the upper left corner of the parcel. “Remember that ‘free mail’ refers to envelopes and correspondence mail, not for packages,” added Nesmith. “However, military-to-military parcels can be sent at no cost.” Sailors on board can send packages to Sailors serving on Individual Augmentee (IA) or Global Support Assignment (GSA) for free by placing the ship’s complete address in the upper left corner of the package. Since the beginning of deployment, Vinson’s post office has mailed out more than 150,000 pounds of mail including packages, letters and more than 900 United through Reading (UTR) video recordings. Sending letters through the mail is also a safe way to send information home. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is one of the most secure means of sending messages and Carl Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Bruce Lindsey strongly recommends using letter mail to send information about ship’s schedule for the upcoming Tiger Cruise home, at no cost to the crew. Nesmith recommends that Sailors take advantage of their opportunity to send a free letter, postcard or video home before the ship chops out of 5th Fleet.

A Supply Department Sailor waits to move mail below decks after it was received via carrier onboard delivery on the flight deck Apr. 4. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) James R. Evans.


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Ratings at Risk Overmanning means sailors need to act fast to stay in Story by Mark D. Faram NAVY TIMES

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ith the Navy cutting 9,000 sailors in the next four years, it’s not hard to know where it will look first: overmanned ratings. The Navy has 24 ratings manned at 105 percent or higher. If you are an E-6 or below in one of those ratings, you’re most at risk in the drawdown. You’re among 57,331 sailors, and those ratings are allowed to carry only 51,895; an overage of 5,436 sailors. These are the sailors who must compete harder than ever to advance and re-enlist. And Millington says it’s going to stay that way until these ratings return to proper manning levels. “Overmanning affects everything about a rating, and especially advancement and the number of [re-enlistment quotas],” said Mike Dawson, deputy head enlisted community manager at Navy Personnel Command. “Sailors who are in overmanned ratings and paygrades should see the writing on the wall and take action; we know it’s not easy, and it will require some hard decisions on their part.” Worst off are E-3s and below, where manning is at 141.68 percent overall in the 24 ratings. That’s followed by E-6 and E-4, where manning is at 104.06 and 103.03 percent, respectively. Second classes are just about properly manned overall at 99.37 percent. But don’t let those numbers fool you, personnel officials warn: Whether you’ll advance or be allowed to re-enlist in your rating will depend also on your peers. Personnel types now also look at your “year group”; everyone in your rate who entered the Navy the same year as you. “You have to be realistic,” said Capt. Hank Roux, head community manager. “While I know you are devoted to your rating, you

have to be realistic in what your chances are to stay. If your year group is 130 percent manned, the odds are your chances aren’t going to be too good. But if your goal is to stay in the Navy, there’s still a chance to save your career, but you need to start early.”

Know Your Reality

If you’re not within two years of reenlisting and want to wait it out, Dawson says your best option is to study as hard as possible and try to advance to the next paygrade. Those in the highest paygrades have the best chance of staying in their ratings under the Perform to Serve re-up approval formula.

In the overmanned ratings, the higher your year group is manned, the tougher it will be to stay. And if your evaluations are only normal, you might not make the cut. “You have rock stars out there in every rating,” Roux said. “I know it’s hard for many sailors to realize that being a 4.0 sailor in an over-manned rating sometimes isn’t good enough today, that’s our reality right now.” Every sailor, Dawson said, needs to know what else the Navy has to offer him. In fact, the 17 most chronically undermanned ratings; where the best chance is to stay in blue, are undermanned by roughly 4,400. To find out what you are eligible to convert into, your career counselor must access a computer system called “Fleet Ride,” where your Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery scores will be compared with all ratings that have conversion openings. “Don’t wait until you are in your PTS window; you should get into. Fleet Ride as soon as possible,” Roux said. “This will give you more than enough time to investigate what’s available and what you may be interested in.” But, he warns, many of the ratings that are available are in the submarine and cryptologic communities. “A lot of these ratings are technical in nature and require higher ASVAB scores and security clearances,” Roux said. The reason you need to start this process early, Roux said, is that you may need to retake the ASVAB to qualify for more ratings. “Odds are that a 25-year-old sailor with life experience under their belt will take the test better than when they were 17 and on the way in the Navy,” he said. “Those odds go up even higher when you study, because most sailors don’t study the first time they take it.”

“I know it’s hard for many sailors to realize that being a 4.0 sailor in an over-manned rating sometimes isn’t good enough today, that’s our reality right now.” - Capt. Hank Roux

Even if you’re not in an over-manned rating, you need to start planning your future as soon as possible if you have less than two years left on your enlistment. Assessing your particular situation can be tough, so ask for help. Starting early will ensure you get the best advice possible to make your decisions once your PTS window opens at 12 months before your end-of-service date. The first stop should be your career counselor’s office, to gauge your chances of staying in your rating. Your counselor can call your community manager and get a “best guess” of where you might shake out in the PTS system. They can look at how many sailors are applying to stay in your rating and year group. They’ll also say how many quotas they’ll be giving that month. This can be done early in the game, and also while you’re in your six-month PTS window and tweaking your application each month.


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Hazardous turbulence is present in all thunder¬storms, and in a severe thunderstorm it can damage an airframe and cause serious injury to passengers and crew.

Crash and Salvage Team: SpeciFically trained in the rescue of aircrew and the removal of damaged aircraft form the landing area.

DECKPLATE Deckplate Dialogues

What have you mailed home from deployment?

AMEAN Joshua Kelley

SN Danielle Wood

AT2 Juan Beltran

“Gifts for my family and the things I’ve bought that I don’t need on the ship.”

“Free letters to friends and family and souvenirs from the places we’ve been so far.”

“An anniversary gift for my wife and free letters to my family.”

Vinson Voice 5 April 2011  

The Voice of the Vinson

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