NORFOLK, Va.—Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Portia L. Marshall, a 2005 graduate of Sayreville War Memorial High School and her command, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) homeported in Norfolk, Va., recently earned the honor to fly the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) pennants.
The pennants signify that all eligible sailors have qualified in both the ESWS and the EAWS program. In order to qualify, the sailors must demonstrate advanced knowledge in the warfare capabilities of all of the ship’s departments. To do this, the sailors are required to train in many jobs throughout the ship, where they obtain over 400 signatures stating that they understand the workings of that specific job.
After these requirements are met, the sailor must then pass a 200-question written exam and pass an oral board chaired by a senior or master chief. Command Master Chief John W. Hick stated that the Bush is qualifying sailors at a rate of more than 100 individuals per month.
“It’s a very difficult challenge for a command of this size, ” said Hick. “The spirit and motivation from the crew with these programs is awe-inspiring. Because we understand the warfare insignia is the mark of a true professional, we take the programs very seriously, ” he added.
The warfare programs were created between 1978 and 1980 to help sailors gain a level of qualification and knowledge beyond the normal level required for advancement.
Marshall joined the Navy in July 2005.
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