The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) painted their anchors gold during a ceremony just underneath the centerline anchor April 10 in honor of the ship earning the Retention Excellence Award for fiscal year 2017.
U.S. Pacific Fleet announced John Paul Jones earned the award, formerly known as the Golden Anchor Award, in a message to the fleet Feb. 22.
"I'm humbled to be the Commanding Officer of a ship where the culture is such that Sailors WANT to re-enlist and continue their careers in the Navy,” said Cmdr. Jesse Mink, John Paul Jones’ commanding officer. “This is an amazing ship with Sailors who are even more amazing. Every JPJ Sailor that chooses to re-enlist is a huge win for the Navy."
Destroyer Squadron 31’s Deputy Commodore Capt. Joe Ring joined Mink and many of the Sailors who reenlisted aboard the ship in 2017 in painting the anchor gold. These Sailors signed their names to the centerline anchor becoming a part of the ship’s history as a coat of gold paint now covers and protects their signatures.
“I joined to better myself, get technical training in the advanced Electronics Computer Field, and to receive a higher education,” said Senior Chief Electronic Technician (ETCS) Darrick Terry following the ceremony. “Twenty years later, I have accomplished those goals and set my sights on the Command Master Chief program. The Navy has been good to me and I believe in it, our Sailors and our mission. HOOYAH!”
The Retention Excellence Award is awarded to commands that meet the Chief of Naval Operations’ (CNO) retention goals during the previous fiscal year. Established by the United States Department of the Navy, the award is part of the Fleet Retention Excellence Program. The award is based on a combination of criteria, including career development boards, the Navy’s program for planning individual Sailors’ career progressions, and career waypoints, the Navy’s program for processing reenlistment quotas.
“Achieving superior retention rates is a culmination of command climate, advancement support, and increased everyday leadership about the deckplate,” said Cmdr. Mike Dwan, John Paul Jones’ executive officer. “John Paul Jones is proud to display the symbolic gold anchor, the award’s unofficial namesake.”
Commissioned in 1993, and arriving in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in 2014, John Paul Jones is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer providing integrated air and missile defense capabilities.