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NEWS | April 27, 2022

Navy Personnel Command PACT Team Changes Lives for 313 Newly-Rated Sailors in Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeanette Mullinax

MILLINGTON, Tenn. -- A Fleet Engagement Team from Navy Personnel Command completed a five-day engagement event in Japan April 15, resulting in 313 newly-rated Sailors in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

This was the first Professional Apprenticeship Career Track team event in Japan since before the coronavirus pandemic began. After overcoming challenges due to international travel restrictions, the team forged ahead to deliver a full-service detailing process for the forward-deployed Sailors.

The team, consisting of enlisted community managers, rating specialists and detailers, traveled from Millington, Tennessee, to set up shop at four locations: aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76); Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka; Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni; and Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo.

As part of the engagements, Commander Navy Personnel Command, Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey, met virtually with PACT Sailors in each location via video teleconference to discuss their time in the program and congratulate them on their milestones.

“This speaks to your determination to stay the course. It’s a testament to where you are in your careers and how you achieve your goals,” Holsey said during his call with Sailors in Sasebo. “I’m very proud of all of you and I’d love to hear from you in the future when you’ve settled into your new careers.”

In preparation for the visits, colloquially coined “PACT Rodeos,” the team coordinated with the 7th Fleet staff and command career counselors at each location, ensuring eligible PACT Sailors were prepared and available to attend.

“When we do these rodeos, they’re able to sit down with someone, get a CDB [career development board] done, talk to the ECM [enlisted community manager], and if they require a waiver - depending on how much of a waiver they need - we’re able to grant that waiver on the spot,” Command Senior Chief Shanika Jones, a rating detailer, said. “Then they’re able to walk over to the next table and talk to the detailers and get a location and duty station locked in along with their rating, all before reporting back to their ship or command.”

Randy Miller, PACT team lead, said nearly every Sailor earned a requested rating and a desired duty station.

“The ability to go face to face with our PACT Sailors is priceless,” said Miller, a retired Master Chief Navy Counselor. “It’s their first opportunity to engage with MyNavy HR and fully understand how our process works in being rated and detailed to a new assignment. Building that trust between our fleet Sailors and our team in Millington is critical. It’s the foundation of our success.”

Command career counselors and command leadership were also key to the success of the five-day event.

“It starts with the command career counselor,” Jones said. “We don’t want to just bring them [PACT] in for a little bit and let them leave out of the Navy with a salty taste. Whether they turn it into four years or 20 years, whatever the case may be - we want to see these Sailors succeed.”

The PACT program directs Sailors to begin their rating designation process 12 months prior to their projected rotation date. From then they remain eligible until selected for a rated requisition or until their soft end of active obligated service. While in the program, these Sailors are able to gain on-the-job training (OJT) at their duty stations.

For one formerly undesignated Sailor in Sasebo, his OJT time solidified his desired rating, and the moment of earning it could not have come soon enough.

“I’ve been wanting to be an OS [operations specialist] since I first got here, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get my rate,” Operations Specialist Seaman Blake MartinezPompa said. “A lot of us PACT Sailors wanted this to happen and it’s one of the good things that the Navy did a really good job on. I hope that this continues forward.”

MartinezPompa, currently assigned to USS New Orleans (LPD 18), received orders for the Pre-Commissioning Unit of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), expected to be homeported at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During the event, he also had the chance to interact with Holsey one-on-one, which he said was a special highlight to an already “wonderful experience.”

“It’s not just orders to them,” Jones said. “Sometimes this set of orders could be the difference between parents or partners being collocated, or this set of orders could be the difference between families being able to celebrate birthdays like they normally do.”

Another Sailor who engaged with Holsey was newly-rated Yeoman Seaman Rory Black.

After receiving her orders to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), she said, “I instantly told my mom. I’m just happy and I’m excited to go do my job.”

Fleet Engagement Team visits promote greater transparency of the orders negotiation process, as well as hands-on training for career counselors and PACT Sailors alike. The team looks forward to conducting more visits like these to fleet concentrated areas.

PACT Sailors interested in expanding their available conversion opportunities should contact their command career counselor for information about additional Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) testing opportunities.

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