(Via Ho’okele News)
Story and photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio
Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
Sailors assigned to various commands at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam stood in formation at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Fountain as the Retention Excellence Award (REA) pennant was raised on April 7.
The Retention Excellence Award is given to select commands by the Department of the Navy for meeting and exceeding career program requirements.
“For me, although it’s great to meet certain criteria for the Retention Excellence Award, it’s most important that Sailors get quality information. The Sailors are being taken care of through mentorship and their chain of commands are involved and assisting,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW/AW) Johnathon Young, command career counselor at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“The big part is mentorship. The Sailors really need to understand what is going on and what might be an immediate concern so they can plan for it, so they can take appropriate action, so they can be happy,” said Young.
The annual award recognizes accomplishments in executing programs and policies that enable Sailors to have successful naval careers and be afforded all opportunities possible.
Programs aimed at retention like career development boards, sponsorship programs, mentorship, Career Waypoints, and Selective Reserve help the Sailors with choices for their naval careers.
The Retention Excellence Award is given once a year to those commands that have met or exceeded the Chief of Naval Operations’ retention requirements for two or more quarters. “Having the Retention Excellence Award says we’re doing our job and we’re doing it well. We met the criteria that has been set by the Navy and we are performing outstanding or above, which is great,” said Young.
Commands awarded the retention excellence award are authorized to fly the retention excellence pennant.
“Retention Excellence Award is an award that every command competes for every year, so that they can be recognized for meeting requirements or benchmarks that are outlined earlier that year,” said Chief Navy Counselor (SW/AW) Athena R. Allen, command career counselor at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“Hopefully, it’s giving a realistic reflection of the career development team and the leadership’s ability to keep Sailors on track.”
Allen said that the Retention Excellence Award would not have been possible without the hard work of Young and Electronics Technician 3rd Class Brianna Castaneda, assistant career counselor.
“They help us to schedule, execute, track and submit career development boards into the systems, document training, communicate with the chain of command on who have approval to stay in the Navy, who has plans to separate and where Sailors are transferring to. They assist with all the re-enlistment and retirements to make sure the requests are processed. They do everything. They’re awesome,” said Allen.
Young and Castaneda submit the Career Waypoint (formerly Perform to Serve).
“Not only do we have Sailors that want to stay Navy and actually re-enlist, we also have to make sure in the career counselor office, we are providing every single opportunity for Sailors to be able to stay. So as soon as they (Sailors) come to their window to be eligible for a career waypoint application, we have to submit it. If you have one application for one Sailor for one-month missing, then you don’t earn the award, so they’re meticulous about making sure that everything is submitted on time. They do a great job,” said Allen.
Awardees selected achieve a score of 85 points or better on the annual Career Development Program Review (CIPR), achieve 100 percent perfect Career Waypoint on-time submission for each review a Sailor is eligible to receive, achieve 100 percent qualification of PACT Sailors in the Fleet Rating Identification Engine (Fleet Ride) and achieve 100 percent Leadership Development Program completion for required personnel.
To learn more about career options and retention, contact your command career counselor.