PACIFIC OCEAN (August 31, 2013) - First class petty officers aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) are passing down their knowledge to junior Sailors who are attempting to advance in ranks.
With advancement exams being given in the coming weeks, junior Sailors aboard Boxer are doing everything they can to prepare for their advancement exams.
“Most Sailors end up advancing by only a small margin, so we’re trying to give our junior Sailors a better chance to put on that next rank,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Andrea Pietras, who leads professional military knowledge (PMK) study groups for Boxer Sailors. “It’s a good feeling knowing that what I do could potentially help people put on the next rank.”
With 379 Sailors testing for nearly three dozen different rates, and with every rate testing on different material, the only part of the exams that is similar is the questions about PMK.
“This is an excellent opportunity for exam takers to increase their chances to advance by making learning more interesting in a group setting,” said Chief (select) Personnel Specialist Rick Angel. “This PMK training will not only give them that advantage, but even if they don’t advance, they will have a broader understanding of Navy policies and programs.”
Sailors taking the E-4, E-5, and E-6 advancement exams attend Pietras’s training to increase their knowledge base, and in turn increase their chances of scoring higher on their exam.
“I got a lot out of it,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Karmen Sales, an upcoming exam candidate and a participant in the group study sessions. “I feel that my chances of advancing are much better now.”
“It’s very important for senior leadership to help their Sailors advance,” said Pietras. “If they show their junior Sailors that they care about their careers, it makes them look up and respect their leaders just that much more. And then when the time comes when they are leaders they will want to pass on their knowledge as well.”
Pietras’s PMK training has been held on board Boxer multiple times a week throughout the month of August, and she hopes to continue the training for future exam cycles .