WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to Naval District Washington (NDW) are preparing to participate in the Navy-wide E-4 to E-6 advancement exams beginning Sept. 7.
Fourteen NDW Sailors are scheduled to be among the thousands throughout the Navy who take the petty officer 1st class, 2nd class and 3rd class advancement exams offered in Sept.
With far fewer Sailors taking the exam at NDW than would on most Navy vessels, the command atmosphere can be different than what some are used to during testing season.
"The pulse of the crew is not felt by everyone, every day," said Senior Chief Navy Career Counselor Rachel Hutton, region career counselor and staff educational service officer for Naval District Washington. "I think one of the ways that staff duty is unique is your motivation for everything has to be intrinsic because you don't have those external motivators the same as you do other places."
"It happens organically when you're at operational commands. Here you have to be on top of timelines, deadlines and dates. It can be hard for me as a senior chief to keep track of all those things, I can only imagine how it would have been for me as a junior Sailor," said Hutton.
Yeoman 3rd Class Christian Fleming, administrative assistant assigned to NDW, has been in the Navy for three years and served on a ship before arriving at NDW eight months ago. He feels the change in scenery has had a positive impact on his exam scores and that his command has given him all the motivation he needs.
"There has to be something in you to study for the exam," said Fleming. "Since I've been here, my score has improved. I like being here and having the time to study. I get to go home, look in the books and do things my way. I was only off by five points the last time I took the exam. When I took it before I got here, I was off by 20 points. I can only imagine how well I'll do when I take it this time. It's up to me this time to study harder to make up the five points and more."
Hutton encourages Sailors to study hard for their exams and hopes to see NDW Sailors among the Navy's newest petty officers.
"I hope everyone has studied and understands that the only thing they have 100% control over is that standard score on the exam. Your efforts should show in your evals and that Performance Mark Average is such a large chunk of everything, but so often I see Sailors focus time-in-rate, awards and education points. That stuff is just gravy and you have to get to the main course before you pour gravy over it. When Sailors don't study and don't take this seriously, that's when they end up not advancing," said Hutton.
"As a senior chief, I can't tell you how good it feels to see Sailors advance. I hope to see a lot of our names on that list," said Hutton.
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