USS Makin Island
“Gung Ho”
Makin Island Sailors Lead PACT in Planning for Future
The amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) transits toward Naval Base San Diego following a seven-month dry dock period at General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO). Makin Island, homeported in San Diego, is conducting a depot-level maintenance availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devin M. Langer/Released)

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Makin Island (LHD 8) received a visit from Enlisted Community Managers (ECM) that helped assist 59 Sailors in choosing a rate as a part of the Professional Apprenticeship Career Track program, (PACT) Aug. 27-29.

PACT Sailors are Sailors who have not yet chosen a rate, or job, within the Navy. They consist of undesignated fireman, airman and seaman. To become rate-eligible, Sailors must have been on board for 12 months, met with an enlisted community manager and have authorization for the career field they chose.

“PACT Sailors work very hard,” said Navy Counselor 2nd Class Quintavious Nelson, who was part of the team that assisted Sailors in their decisions. “These Sailors spend a lot of off-duty hours to try and accomplish their goal of obtaining a specific rate.”

An ECM is a senior enlisted Sailor who answers questions, checks qualifications and has the final say on a Sailor’s rating approval. ECMs may oversee and approve several different ratings and tend to be assigned to specific career fields.

Three months prior to each Sailor’s projected rotation date, they'll receive an e-mail giving them the option to sign up for obligated service, commonly known as obliserve, or re-enlist with their new rating’s sea and shore rotation.

If a Sailor elects to obliserve in a chosen rate, he or she is able to wear the rank of petty officer 3rd class and assume the duties and responsibilities of their new rate.

There are 107 PACT Sailors aboard Makin Island. Of those, 59 chose a rate and seven Sailors are pending rate approval upon completion of their “A” school. The rest are still working toward meeting necessary requirements.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to have chosen a rate,” said Airman Michael Castro, a PACT Sailor who has been onboard for 13 months. “I feel like a weight has been lifted and now I can focus on my future in the Navy.”

Castro chose the rate of corpsman and is awaiting his new rating pending completion of corpsmen “A” school.

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