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In This Issue: Cash Card Smarts | NCPACE Classes | Tuesdays with the CMC | DITLO... S-8 | Gadget Guru

Vol 03 No 8 | January 17, 2012


BlueJacketoftheYear SH3 (SW) Teca Sneed


MC3 (SW/AW) Rosa A. Arzola | Carl Vinson Staff Writer

Vinson’s 2011 Blue Jacket of the Year, Ship’s Serviceman 3rd Class (SW) Teca Sneed, assigned to Supply Department’s S-3 Division, has attributed her achievement to following through on three goals. Sneed, a Detroit native, enlisted in the Navy July 2009 with a few things in mind - perform to the best of her abilities, take pride and ownership in her work and surpass the expectation her chain of command prescribed for her, both in recruit training and in the fleet. When she reported aboard Vinson in November 2009 she did just that and was Vinson’s 2010 First Quarter Blue Jacket of the Quarter (BJOQ). “BJOQ was not just a title,” she said. “It became my lifestyle. I had to practice and preach. As a role model and leader it was my duty to help my Sailors meet their potential and go above and beyond in whatever they put their minds to.” As Vinson’s ship store supervisor, Sneed’s responsibilities include the supervision of three personnel, stock and inventory and price maintenance. She comes face to face with Vinson and CVW 17 Sailors on a daily basis and does it with a smile on her face. “I have the opportunity to have a positive impact on my shipmates,” Sneed said. “What I do can boost someone’s morale by offering some comforts of home with something as simple as a bottle of cold Gatorade.” Sneed, who was onboard during Vinson’s support of Operation Unified Response after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, grew a profound appreciation for her job not just as a ship’s serviceman, but also as a Sailor. CONTINUE ‘BJOY’ ON PAGE 2

Photo by: MC2 Benjamin Stevens | Carl Vinson Staff Photographer

Vinson Voice


“I didn’t get off the boat in Haiti but I knew we were a part of something good,” she said as she recollected memories of Vinson’s efforts. “It was a wakeup call for me. It hit me then that I was a part of something real - something bigger than just doing a job every day.” And according to people she works with, she hit the deck plates running. Ship’s Serviceman 1st Class (SW/AW) Jason Petty, assistant leading petty officer of Supply Department’s S-3 Division, said Sneed started from the bottom like anyone else and worked feverishly to get to where she is today. As a seaman she started off stocking vending machines and then progressed to being a ship store clerk. “Her hard work resulted in her becoming the supervisor for the ship’s main store as a seaman,” Petty said. “She didn’t stop after achieving such an important responsibility.” Sneed continued to propel herself forward by earning her ESWS and advancing to the rank of E-4. “Now she is in charge of Sailors who are in the same position she was no more than a year ago,” Petty said. Although Sneed believes it was her ability to execute orders and responsibilities in an effective manner that might have contributed to her nomination as BJOY, her superiors believes it was the effort she put into her work, into learning her rate, and into leading as a Sailor. Senior Chief Ship’s Serviceman (SW/AW) Hector Quiroga, leading chief petty officer of Supply Department’s S-3 Division, explained Sneed was one of the big contributors in S-3 Division’s success to set record sales numbers during Vinson’s previous Western Pacific deployment. “She is always ahead of schedule, assuming leadership positions and never questioning whatever her instructions are. She is willing to learn new things about her rate or the ship,” he said. Before Vinson deployed for WestPac 20112012, Sneed, along with Sailors in her division, willingly cut their leave time short to assist the department in bringing on all necessary supplies and effectively prepare the ship for deployment, Petty said. “From sunrise until late after sundown, Sneed never complained and ensured all supplies and materials were properly handled, stored and accounted for even if it meant staying longer hours,” he added. But hard work is not the only thing that Sneed brings to the table, Petty explained. It is also Sneed’s ability to take charge and demonstrate ownership that led her chain of command to describe Sneed as a stellar Sailor.

Top: Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen recognizes SH3 (SW) Teca L. Sneed as Vinson’s Blue Jacket of the Year. Photo by MCSN George M. Bell. Left: SH3 (SW) Teca L. Sneed assists a customer in Vinson’s ship store. Photo by MC3 (SW/AW) Rosa A. Arzola. Bottom: Official Recruit Training Command portrait provided by SH3 (SW) Teca L. Sneed.

“It is Sneed’s ambition to be successful in her job, selflessness in helping out her division and crew, and dedicated to the Navy that earned her all this recognition,” Petty explained. “I am very proud of my Sailor. She represents the Navy Core Values every day.” Ship’s Serviceman Seaman Pablo Acosta explained Sneed is a good supervisor who will work alongside her team, whether early morning or late at night in hot or cold spaces. She also allows them to prepare and study for their advancement test and their warfare pins. Even the BJOY board members recognized Sneed as a squared-away Sailor whose ability to lead with confidence and poise made her stand out and earn this accolade not many Sailors can achieve, said Aviation Ordnanceman 1st Class (AW/SW) Clifton Stewart, Weapons Department’s G-3 Division leading petty officer. Embodying the saying “hard work doesn’t go unnoticed”, Sneed was rewarded with the title Blue Jacket of the Year by Vinson’s Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen on Dec. 26, 2011. “I don’t want to just do my job and at the

end of my career not have a thing to say other than I was in the Navy,” Sneed said. “I want to be able to share my journey - tell tales of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. I’ve come a long way from Detroit. I’ve meet a lot of people and I’ve been all over the world. Now I’m the command’s BJOY.”

January 17, 2012



MC3 (SW/AW) Luke B. Meineke | Carl Vinson Staff Writer


ailors are advised to train a discerning eye on their bank accounts as Carl Vinson commenced enforcement of a “three strikes, you’re out” policy which penalizes Sailors who overdraft their Navy Cash accounts. The policy outlines the penalties which reduce or suspend a Sailor’s ability to transfer funds to their Navy Cash card. It is divided into three sections, separated according to the number of non-sufficient funds (NSF) offenses in one year or by their severity. These actions are individual to any fees or penalties sanctioned by the bank from which funds are being transferred. According to ship instruction CARLVINSONINST 7220.2, the first time Sailors accrue a negative balance on their cash card of $200.00 or less, their ability to transfer funds will be suspended for 30 days after the negative balance is paid off, and the largest amount of money they can withdraw a day will be reduced to $200.00. Sailors will also receive verbal counseling with their departmental command financial specialist and must submit a special request chit in order to transfer funds from a bank account to their card again. If there is a second incident in one year, or their balance is negative $200.00 to $400.00, they will be unable to transfer funds for six months, beginning when the debt has been paid off. Their daily withdrawal limit will drop to $100.00 and they will receive written counseling. After six months has passed, a special request chit asking for restoration of their ability to transfer funds from bank to card must be submitted, and will receive final approval or disapproval from the Disbursing Officer or Deputy. A Sailor’s third offense or any negative balance of $500.00 or greater will permanently suspend his or her ability to transfer funds from a bank account to the Navy Cash card until the Sailor’s transfer from the command. Vinson began enforcement of the policy on Jan. 2, 2012 to curb the rising trend of Sailors with negative balance accounts, said Personnel Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Daniel Preko, Supply Department’s S-4 Division leading petty officer. Ninety-seven Vinson Sailors are currently on Disbursing’s negative balance list, a list generated from reports received from JPMorgan Chase, the Navy Cash accounts’ controlling bank. Each day, Disbursing sends the negative balance list to those on the list, the departmental leading chief petty

officers, and the chiefs’ mess and wardroom to ensure all those affected are made aware, Preko said. Two of the principle reasons Sailors overdraw their accounts are shared accounts and a lack of personal financial management. Shared accounts provide a prime opportunity for overdraft. A lack of communication, or a misunderstanding that each transfer isn’t automatic, can leave an account exposed, where one or both parties can withdraw monies that are en route to someplace else or simply no longer there, Preko said. Sailors should also be aware of the time involved in funds transfers, added Ens. Michael Grimes, Vinson’s Disbursing officer. “It takes anywhere from 72 hours to, as ridiculous as it sounds, seven days for funds to be transferred from a personal account. Sailors should make certain they know they took out that money and it will take X amount of days for those funds to come out. So, either don’t spend that money, or communicate to your spouse that you took out that money.” Sailors often have negative balances because they don’t know how much they have in their bank account, Preko said. They don’t keep track of their accounts and transactions and therefore don’t know when they are close to overdrawing or are overdrawn. “Get a ledger so you know what you’re transferring and you have documentation of your transactions,” Preko recommended. “Management - I can’t stress that word enough,” Grimes said. “The biggest thing is to make financial management a discipline. It all comes down to that.” Sailors who have questions about or struggle with financial management have many outlets onboard. Command and departmental financial specialists are available specifically to help Sailors with their money management. For those that want to educate themselves, Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) offers a course on personal financial management. “I really recommend monthly financial management training,” Grimes said. “The departmental financial counselor, the chain of command and their Sailors should train together as part of their monthly training plan.” For tips on managing Navy Cash accounts for port visits, go to the Supply S-4 page on the Sharepoint and click on the “Disbursing Advisory” link. For more help or information, Grimes, Preko and Disbursing office personnel are also available to Sailors.

Vinson Voice


Making the grade STORY BY


aboard carl vinson

MC3 (SW/AW) Rosa A. Arzola | Carl Vinson Staff Writer

arl Vinson kicked off semester one of Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) courses Jan. 16. More than 400 Vinson and CVW 17 Sailors are now beginning or continuing their education out to sea. “It is a great opportunity for Sailors who want to continue their degree or for those who want to start college,” said Lt. j.g. James Lowe, Vinson’s education service officer. “Being deployed hinders a lot of people from pursuing their education but we open up chances for those Sailors by offering a variety of NCPACE courses underway.” Five instructors from Central Texas College arrived aboard Jan. 14 and will remain onboard for two semesters - Jan.16 to Mar. 11 and Mar. 14 to May 12. “We are here to help Sailors with any questions or problems they might have with their classes,” said Isaac G. McKnight, Business Ethics and Academic Skills Writing instructor. “It’s a great opportunity for Sailors to get a running start for a degree or certificate.” Prior to deploying on Vinson’s second consecutive combat deployment, Sailors enrolled in 16 genres of basic college courses - Academic Skills Writing, Fundamentals of Writing II, English Composition I and II, Introductory Algebra, College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Principles of Management, American Government, General Psychology, Child Psychology, Supervisory Management, Business Ethics, Public Speaking, Organizational Communication and History courses. The courses were selected by Navy College, who determined what prerequisite subjects most universities required for an associates and a bachelor’s degree. Once those subjects were presented to the crew, Sailors were offered the opportunity to enroll based on meeting the command and their department’s criteria. The first step to enrolling in a course started within the departments

with endorsement from the chain of command. E-5 and above Sailors were required to be primary warfare qualified and all E-4 and below Sailors had to be onboard a minimum of 12 months. Sailors had to be recommended for promotion or advancement on their last periodic evaluation, successfully completed the most recent physical readiness test (PRT) and had no non-judicial punishment or disciplinary review boards in their record within the last six months, explained Personnel Specialist 3rd Class (SW) James Bryan, Administration Department’s X-1 Division education service office (ESO) clerk. In preparation for the first day of school, Vinson’s ESO worked with the instructors to provide information on what was required for each course and kept the crew informed on textbook prices and official start dates and times for each course. Luckily, Sailors will only have to pay out of pocket for necessary materials which were available for purchase the morning class began. Textbook prices varied from $71 to $219, said Bryan. The first day of “school” is now in the books, and Sailors acknowledge the benefits of free education and the opportunity for educational growth. “I decided to take English Composition 1. I am saving money taking active steps toward achieving my educational goals,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Christopher Mosley, assigned to Operations Department’s OI, Division who recommended everyone should take advantage of the educational opportunities available especially on deployment.

Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) Professor Dan Pretto answers questions during his Fundamentals of Writing class on the first day of NCPACE courses aboard Vinson. Photo by MC2 (SW) James R. Evans.

January 17, 2012


From the Deckplates:

Tuesdays with the CMC A NOTE FROM

CMDCM (AW/SW) April D. Beldo| Carl VInson Command Master Chief


PHOTO BY: MC2 (SW) James R. Evans | Carl Vinson Staff Photographer

he first Thursday in January, every year, all around the Navy, all around the globe, eligible first class petty officers muster early in the morning wherever they are with one common goal- successfully scoring high enough on the Chief ’s Exam to be eligible for this summer’s Chief Petty Officer selection board. USS Carl Vinson is no different. 253 first class petty officers are eligible to take the CPO exam this Thursday. The ship will close down the aft mess decks at 0545, and begin process of seating all those PO1s. ESO has gone to great lengths to make sure all test takers are strategically placed, so there will be no compromising of tests. In other words, an PO1 isn’t going to sit right next to another PO1 of the same rate. The Chief ’s Mess will be on station as proctors to assist this three-hour long evolution. It would be ideal to have it in an auditorium type environment, but when you’re at the “Tip of the Spear” like we are, you do whatever you have to, because there is no secondary seating.

CVW 17 first classes will be locked in their Ready Rooms with the “Red Light” on meaning, “do not enter.” Everyone knows the importance of these 180 minutes. You only get one shot per year, and you have to make it count. I want to wish all first classes in Carrier Strike Group ONE the best of luck on Thursday morning. I know that’s unnecessary, though, because I’m certain each and every one of you have been planning for this day since last March! You have studied, you will have rested the night before, and now it is all skill! Hoo yah!

Naval Missions and Heritage Naval Missions and Heritage

Taken from the 24th edition Blue Jackets’ Manual

Maritime Security

Threats other than those posed by hostile nations can emerge, such as piracy, terrorism, weapons proliferation, and drug trafficking. Countering these irregular threats and enforcing domestic and international law at sea protects our homeland, enhances global stability, and secures freedom of navigation for the benefit of all nations. In 1819, Congress declared the infamous slave trade to be piracy and, in response, the Navy established an African Slave Trade Patrol to search for these dealers in human misery. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, USS Constitution, USS Constellation, and many other Navy ships relentlessly plied the waters off West Africa, South

America, and the Cuban coast, capturing more than 100 suspected slavers. In more modern times, the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron 16, flying out of Jacksonville, Fla., played a vital role in the capture of 41 tons of cocaine, and USS Crommelin, working with USS Ticonderoga, intercepted a drug shipment of 72 bales of cocaine with an estimated street value of $36 million. These operations are not what first come to mind when one thinks about a Navy, but they are becoming more typical as economic globalization and asymmetric threats emerge in the twenty-first century.

Vinson Voice


A Day in the life of... STORY BY

Supply Department S-8 Division - RAS Day

MC2 (SW/AW) Lori D. Bent | Carl Vinson Staff Writer


t’s not a typical day for the Sailors assigned to Supply Department’s S-8 Division, yet they are fully prepared for what is about to unfold over the next couple of hours and well into the work day. Long before the whistle signals reveille and the crew shuffles about the deckplates, these Sailors are geared up and dressed up in full flight deck gear for a replenishment-at-sea (RAS). You may not recognize them in a float coat and cranial or their green jersey, but stitched on to the back of their required uniform for a RAS are the words that identify them – ‘S-8, Muscle of Supply’. “‘Muscle of Supply’ are words we operate by,” said Senior Chief Logistics Specialist (SW) Juan Gutierrez, S-8’s leading chief petty officer. “It simply means the work we do would not get done without the sweat on our brows and the strength in our backs as we move pallets and a lot of supplies on and off the ship.” During Vinson’s Jan.13 RAS, S-8 Sailors received, moved and inventoried more than 300 pallets of supplies ranging from frozen food to aircraft parts. “For us, a RAS starts long before we even go alongside the supply ship,” explained S-8’s Division Officer Lt. j.g. Alexander Cassady. “We are always thinking ahead and planning how many supplies we need to bring on and what we need to offload. On average we will receive more than 300 pallets and offload a list of items we don’t need onboard like hazardous waste and plastic pucks from the plastic waste plants.” But as important as that planning is, it means nothing if there is no one to receive the supplies. Each person plays a vital role in the evolution of getting supplies on the ship and offloading unwanted or unsafe materials. From Sailors manning the pallet jacks ready to move pallets off the flight deck down to the hangar bay, to the hook team working directly under a helo on a pallet drop-off location, Sailors remain busy from dusk to dawn during throughout a RAS. Outside the safety of their storerooms and offices, these Sailors proudly put on their “S8” stenciled cranials and float coats and step

PHOTOS BY: MC2 James R. Evans | MC3 Travis K. Mendoza | MC3 (SW/AW) Rosa A. Arzola | MCSN Dean M. Cates | Carl Vinson Staff Photographers

onto the flight deck, Vinson’s most dangerous working environment, and prepare to restock this warship. It is here that the real fun begins as Sailors fall into a rhythm of getting pallets on deck and moved to the elevator and down to hangar deck where they can be organized and inventoried. “It’s a lot different,” explained Logistics Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Roberto Lopez. “A lot of people think we sit in a storeroom and count parts all day but there are other aspects to our jobs and we get to do it once or twice a week.” Lopez describes a day on the flight deck as being on the starting lineup for a football team. “As soon as the first pallet hits the deck it’s like the quarterback yelled ‘Hike’ and everyone starts running,” he said. “Everything is fast paced and you have to be conscious of your safety. It’s just a crazy ridiculous rush.” Like any football game, experiencing a RAS from the flight deck can be dangerous and therefore requires complete concentration. “The only way I can describe the feeling of being directly under a helo is, an extreme adrenaline rush,” Gutierrez said as he explained his role as the hook team chief. “You look up and all you see is a helo bearing down on you. We have to stay focused because no matter how experienced you are, you can quickly find yourself in a position you have never been in.” As a helo hooker, Gutierrez and his team are responsible for receiving pallets from the helo, using what is referred to as a pogo stick and slings. They are the ones who make the first contact with supplies on board and will officially begin the distribution process. Each item received off the helo is attached to a sling and covered by a net. This is called a pick. The helo hooker then takes the pogo stick off the item and unhooks the slings. When the helo picks up supplies, slings are attached to the net and then to the pogo stick for the helo to catch, explained Gutierrez. With the increased physical demands on the crew working below and on the flight deck, heat and dehydration is the number one concern for the officer in charge and something

Cassady accounts for when planning a RAS. “On the night before a RAS we have a brief so everyone knows what to do and where to be,” he said. “We make sure everyone has a Camelbak and we calculate how many hours we will be at it. Our biggest concern is making sure our people get enough rest and are hydrated before a RAS day.” “It gets real hot real quick after the sun comes up. You can never drink too much water,” added Lopez. “But it’s our game day and we have to put our game faces on, be at our best and do our job well.” The job continues with S-8 Sailors below decks efficiently sorting cargo for dissemination to its perspective storeroom or department. Here, S-2 Division receives pallets of food, S-3 Division receives pallets of ship’s store items and S-6 and S-8 Divisions receive pallets of parts and consumable items. “It can get dangerous, but it is also a lot of fun,” Lopez said. “Working in a storeroom is an everyday thing that we get accustomed to over time, but nothing gets better than getting up to the flight deck on the morning of a RAS and watching the sun rise before its time to rock and roll.”

January 17, 2012


PHOTO BY: MCSN Dean M. Cates | Carl Vinson Staff Photographer



MC2 (SW) Byron C. Linder | Carl Vinson Staff Writer


here are seemingly endless varieties of external speaker systems for us to enjoy music with our friends and annoy others with differing tastes. A common sight aboard Vinson is an iPod dock, allowing Sailors to plug in their iPod and enjoy their tunes while charging their device. Many Sailors wisely choose to protect their Apple investment with a protective plastic shield on the screen. Some go the extra distance, wrapping the entire device in a rubber or hard plastic case. But if you want to put your iPod into one of these docks and cease the shrieking of Top 40 tripe in your vicinity, removing these cases can be a chore. Add in the fact many of these speaker docks require an external power supply, and there’s not always a free plug at hand. To top it off, the rise of the iPad has left these docks reachable only by a 3.5mm stereo cable for the larger devices. Buying a separate iPad dock is an unappetizing solution on many levels, from cost to storage space to shipping concerns. In 2011, Jawbone released the Jambox, a remarkably portable speaker system that required no direct connection to the device playing the music. Using any Bluetoothenabled device (including the iPod touch, the iPad, laptops made in the last seven years, etc.), you can stream the audio to the Jambox and free yourself from cords entirely. First things first…this thing is small at six inches long, two-and-a-quarter inches high and one-and-a-half inches thick. Connecting to the device is simple. Slide the power button up from the bottom “Off ” position, hold it up for a couple of

seconds, and a pleasant female voice will tell you the Jambox is in pairing mode, and waiting for a device to connect. Open your device’s Bluetooth settings, connect to the Jambox, and a chime will sound indicating a successful pairing. The Jambox only supports one Bluetooth connection at a time, so there’s no worry about the speaker being hijacked by another Bluetooth-enabled gadget. The rectangular design defies all expectations of how a speaker usually looks. It could easily be mistaken for a paperweight on a desk, and the hard rubber on the top and bottom of the Jambox gives it a good, rugged feeling. The control panel on top is simple, with only three buttons – a circle, a minus sign, and a plus sign. The plus and minus signs change the volume, with a low chime to indicate the maximum volume. When the circle is pressed, the music fades and the same voice tells you the battery status is “about full” “half full” or “should be charged soon.” And this battery lasts. I annoyed my leadership with Black Flag and Mushroomhead for a solid week of cleaning stations, and the battery was only halfdrained. Charging can be done via a microUSB cable in about three to four hours, and a USB plug is also included. But how does it sound? In a word, fantastic. The sound is clear, delivering crisp highs and thumping lows. The speaker vibrations are powerful, justifying the rugged construction. The speaker works best in enclosed spaces; you won’t be using this to lead a step class in the hangar bay anytime soon, but it sounds great in a shop or a berthing. Jawbone advertises the Bluetooth range to

be about 30 feet. In practice, it was about 20 feet. I’m guessing the company didn’t account for bulkheads in their range testing, but the fact it continued to play when I left the space with my iPad in hand is impressive enough. The Jambox comes with a storage case for transport, but it’s not the easiest thing to get off once the speaker is in there. The 3.5mm stereo jack for non-Bluetooth devices is a thin cable that feels flimsy, but delivers excellent performance. It also doubles as a speakerphone, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test this particular feature. Retailing for about $200 online, the Jambox is not the only Bluetooth portable speaker on the market, or the least expensive. For those of us with multiple Bluetooth-enabled media players who could do with one set of speakers for all the devices, the Jambox is worth consideration for your personal “I’ve been on deployment for awhile, I deserve something nice” indulgence.

Final Grade:


MC2 Linder has been enjoying music for 25 years, with his father’s vinyl of Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” still getting an occasional spin on a Pioneer turntable he keeps in his home office. He hates overpriced Monster Cables with a vengeance and was way too happy to learn Dr. Dre’s “Beats” line of headphones will no longer incorporate that company’s electronics. He installed a 5.1-channel surround sound system a week before installing a shower curtain rod in his first apartment.

Vinson Voice


| Why are you taking an NCPACE class? | “I’m taking classees to educate and better myself, plus it’s economical.”

“I’m trying to use my time underway wisely by educating myself and getting an Associate’s degree. Eventually I want to put in a STA 21 package.”


CSSN (SW/AW) J o s e p h D u n b a r

P h i l l i p

C o l l i n s

“NCPACE fits my working schedule and the class is a requirement for general studies.”

“I want to educate myself and since NCPACE classes are available underway, I thought I should take the opportunity.”

AO3 (AW) A l e x i s R a m i r e z Tay l or

AM3 (AW) O s c a r H o p p e r


















CVIC is responsible for the collection, display, analysis and dissemination of intelligence information, including the briefing and debriefing of pilots prior to and following missions.

The G-2 Division Officer is the Ship’s Gunner. The ship’s gunner is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the magazines, magazine sprinkler systems, weapons elevators, and the ship’s small arms.



17 January 2012 Vinson Voice  
17 January 2012 Vinson Voice  

This issue introduces you to the 2011 Carl Vinson Blue Jacket of the Year, SH3(SW) Teca Sneed.