ARABIAN SEA – The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) earned the Silver Enlisted Surface Warfare Excellence Pennant, Oct. 21, as Sailors continue working toward their Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) pin.
The pennant signifies that every enlisted Sailor between the pay grades of E-1 through E-9, serving aboard Boxer for at least 90 days, are either qualified enrolled in the ESWS program and are not delinquent.
“It’s a huge accomplishment considering the size of the crew aboard this ship [Boxer]”, said Chief Quartermaster (SW/AW) Richard D. Greene, Jr., ESWS coordinator aboard Boxer. “To know all of the surface rates on the ship are qualified as Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists is outstanding.”
The ESWS designation signifies that a Sailor has proved their knowledge on various departments aboard Boxer and has acquired an increased understanding of warfighting, mission effectiveness and ship survivability.
Approximately 640 Sailors have either qualified or re-qualified in the ESWS program aboard Boxer over the past two years.
“In order for this program to be successful it takes a total team buy in from the Commanding Officer all the way down to the newest Sailors checking onboard, and onboard Boxer we have that.” said Boxer’s Command Master Chief (SW) Todd Gruchalla. “I am very proud of this accomplishment and all the accomplishments made by this great crew.
For some Sailors, getting their ESWS pin meant a lot more than any other qualification.
“I felt really proud knowing I was the first seaman in my division to receive my pin [ESWS],” said Seaman (SW) Dettes Isla, a member of deck department’s 3rd division, who recently earned her pin with less than a year aboard. “I spent many late nights studying for long hours. But, in the end, it was worth it.”
Greene said he feels a sense of accomplished knowing Sailors are staying motivated to complete their qualifications.
“It diversifies the crew and ensures a more mission-ready group of Sailors,” Greene added.
Isla said she plans on giving back and serving as a representative for the deck department portion of the ESWS qualification process.
The ESWS pennant will be flown as soon as Boxer reaches its next port.
Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.