USS BENFOLD (DDG 65)
ONWARD WITH VALOR
USS BENFOLD (DDG65) E-4 Sailors Take Enlisted Advancement Exam     

USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) E-4 Sailors taking the Navy wide Enlisted Advancement Exam. (Photo by ENS James Martin)
USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) Sailors Take Enlisted Advancement Exams Prepared and Relaxed 
by ENS James Martin 
SAN DIEGO, CA - Sailors from USS BENFOLD have gathered at the Pier 2 Starbucks every Thursday for three weeks for something other than coffee. They are there to muster for the Navy Advancement Exam, which is held in a spacious classroom off ship at LCSRON. “It’s all part of a Command effort to set our Sailors up for success”, said CDR Richard LeBron, BENFOLD’s Executive Officer. “We wanted to provide a more relaxed and quiet environment to help alleviate the stresses the exams can induce.”

LTJG Wise, USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) Legal Officer, teaches a PMK class on the UCMJ. (Photo by ENS James Martin).“It was great to have special liberty the day before to prepare for the exam and even better to be able to take the exam off ship. It really put me in the right frame of mind” said OSSN Eric Salas. OSSN Salas was one of 32 E-3s who took the E-4 exam off site. Nearly 120 BENFOLD Sailors took Advancement exams this cycle.

Along with a Sailor’s performance average and awards, the Navy wide Enlisted Advancement exams are used to determine which Sailors are promoted to the next pay grade.For more than a month before the exam, BENFOLD has been assisting sailors with daily Professional Military Knowledge (PMK) classes to prepare them for the exam. “We wanted to supplement and focus the studying our Sailors’ were doing on their own”, said ENS James Martin, BENFOLD’s Educational Services Officer. The classes, taught by subject matter experts, were on topics that ranged from Naval History to Military Justice. PMK constitutes from 25-50% of Navy Enlisted Advancement Exams.

The command plans to continue the program into next March’s exam, “The least we can do for our hardworking Sailors is to give them the tools to succeed in the Navy wide Advancement Exams”, said CDR David Oden, BENFOLD’s Commanding Officer.

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