Sailors wait to be pinned during an enlisted surface warfare qualification ceremony.  
120219-N-KS651-304 ARABIAN GULF (Feb. 19, 2012) - Sailors wait to be pinned during an enlisted surface warfare qualification ceremony in the mess decks amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52). Pearl Harbor and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU) are deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Behnke/Released)
Six New Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialists aboard USS Pearl Sailors 
Six Sailors aboard the deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) earned their enlisted surface warfare specialist (ESWS) pin Feb. 19.

The Sailors spent much of their limited free time collecting signatures and gathering information about every department on the ship in order to prove their knowledge and earn the qualification.

“I have never studied so much in my life,” said Damage Controlman Fireman Brandon Hertling. “It feels good to know that I’m capable of achieving something so big. “

Pearl Harbor left its homeport of San Diego three months ago. Damage Controlman 3rd Class Peter Sarll has been working on his qualification since that day.

“It feels like a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” said Sarll. “I feel like I have more responsibility now.”

One of the responsibilities these Sailors now have is to help others get qualified.

Sailors from every department of the ship donate their time to help the unqualified Sailors get trained.

“I am thankful that in this process there were a lot of Sailors that were there to help me overcome a lot of the challenges,” said Seaman Roselyn GotayMartinez. “I will forever be thankful to the junior and senior Sailors that helped me.”

“Many people went out of their way to help me obtain my qualification,” said Engineman 1st Class Juan Ascensio. “My study partners helped a lot too.”

Ascensio said he spent about six hours a day studying with his partners.

All seven of these Sailors found the need to find motivated study partners. Since deploying on Nov. 14, Pearl Harbor Sailors have had to figure out how to balance their work and watch duties with other career and personal goals.

“It feels great to have this complete,” said Engineman 3rd Class Kyle Gribbin. “This is one of those things that every Sailor needs these days, and now I have one less thing to worry about.”

Pearl Harbor and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (11th MEU) are deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
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