USS Princeton Sailors Earn Golden Anchor 
By Ens. Eric Cottrell, USS Princeton Public Affairs  
SAN DIEGO - USS Princeton (CG 59) was one of eight guided-missile cruisers of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to receive the Fiscal Year 2010 Retention Excellence Award, also known as the Golden Anchor Award, Jan. 24.

To win the award, ships must win two or more quarterly honor roll awards during the fiscal year, or meet the annual re-enlistment benchmarks and pass the retention review.

"Our open door policy is a great contributor to the career development of our Sailors," said USS Princeton Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW) Luz Bautista.

"The motivation of the career development team, and support from the captain to the chief's mess was also a major contributing factor," added Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW) Ronny Lindsey, also a command career counselor for USS Princeton.

The annual re-enlistment rate benchmarks were 55 percent for zone "A", 60 percent for zone "B", 71 percent for zone "C", and less than or equal to 5.5 percent for zone "A" attrition.

Princeton exceeded these goals by winning two quarters of honor roll, achieving 70.5 percent re-enlistment rates for zone "A", 60 percent for zone "B", 71.4 percent for zone "C", and a 5.1 percent attrition rate for zone "A".

"We retained the right Sailors," said Command Master Chief Shannon Thornton. "It wasn't just a numbers game, but keeping quality Sailors."

USS Princeton commanding officer Capt. Richard Haidvogel, and Thornton kicked off the painting by placing the first strokes of gold paint on the anchor. Next, the command career counselors and retention team followed up with the final touches.

"We have a strong crew aboard, and we look out for each other," said Haidvogel. "Sailors want to be here."

The painting lasted about an hour, and Princeton's anchor will now glimmer of gold until the end of 2011.
 
Princeton returned to its homeport in December 2010, from a six-month deployment conducting maritime security operations near the Horn of Africa and Somalia.
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