USS BOXER, At Sea - One hundred and seventy seven Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) were advanced to the next highest pay grade during a ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay Dec. 6.
For the last three advancement cycles, Boxer has been consistently above the Fleet average in the E-4 through 6 paygrades.
For some, this milestone proves the virtue in studying hard while marking the start of new expectations and responsibilities in their Navy careers.
The way Aviation Support and Equipment Technician 3rd class Daniel Pinanunez sees it, motivation is key in the advancement process.
"My LPO and Chief really encouraged me to study for my 3rd Class exam as soon as I came onboard a few months ago," said Pinanunez. "They gave me a lot of advice about the exam and printed out all the bibliographies for me, which helped me a lot."
Navy Career Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Derek L. Reynolds, one of the ships command career counselors, explained the significance of bibliographies.
"The biggest thing for Sailors in advancing is preparation," said Reynolds. "Study those bibliographies for your respective rate because the answers are in those references."
Master Chief Personnel Specialist (SW/AW) Jay L. McNuckle, Executive Department Leading Chief Petty Officer, said those who passed but did not advance should not become discouraged.
"Those who didn't pass should keep studying," said McNuckle. "Not everyone can advance everytime they take the test."
McNuckle said it is important for the petty officers that did advance to never forget about the Sailors who are now below them in
"Sailors should never forget the people they left behind in their workspaces," said McNuckle. "It is their job to bring those Sailors up to where they're at today."
McNuckle explained how the advanced Sailors must take the time to train others what they know to make the advancement system more effective.
Reynolds added Sailors could succeed by studying in groups.
"Make study groups," said Reynolds. "Take advantage of your peers because chances are, you can teach one another things that you may have overlooked."
Pinanunez agreed studying is essential because the exam covered beyond what he was taught in "A" school.
McNuckle also explained the importance of financial management as Sailors advance.
"I would advise Sailors in each pay grade to use the extra money for saving and continue the $100 deduction that the Montgomery G.I. Bill starts for you," said McNuckle.
Pinanunez, a native of Phoenix, said the advancement will now give him the chance to save his money for a car and other personal needs.
"One of the reasons I joined the Navy was to help out my parents financially," said Pinanunez. "Right now I'm all about getting my job qualifications and saving up as much as I could just in case I need it in the future."
Pinanunez said his next challenge is pursuing his Enlisted Air Warfare Specialist pin.
"I feel I'm in a good position in my career," said Pinanunez. "But, I'm still learning."