Navy Awareness is an important element in recruiting America's best and brightest for naval service. To assist the recruiting effort in South Texas, eight educators and counselors along with support personnel from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio visited naval commands in support of an Educators Orientation Visit (EOV), July 11 - 14.


The EOV is a Navy Recruiting Command program with a main focus of showing educators the various facets of the Navy and the many career paths available to students.


One of the highlights of the visit was the group's tour of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).


"Touring the Carl Vinson - and seeing the spot where the most wanted man in U.S. history was laid after he was killed - really touched me," said Charlene Darden, a counselor with Bryon P. Steele High School in Cibolo.


According to Darden, prior to the EOV, she had minimum knowledge of the types of careers the Navy offers.


Additionally, the group visited Naval Base San Diego, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron THREE FIVE (HSM-35), BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) Training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, the Pacific Beacon Navy Billeting, the Fleet Readiness Center, Coastal Riverine Group ONE, and the Navy Exchange.


Tammy Cantu, a career counselor with Judson High School in Converse, stated she enjoyed all aspects of the EOV.


"Seeing all the different naval bases and how each one provides a piece to a really amazing puzzle was unbelievable," said Cantu. "I enjoyed visiting where the Navy SEALs are trained. The pace of the tour and everything we saw was perfect."


Participants showed interest in learning more about the Navy and to ensure that Navy career information is available in their schools.


"The EOV broaden my scope of the multitude of possibilities the Navy has to offer," said Darden. "I also learned that in order for us as a nation to remain the best, we should recruit the best."


Juan Rodriguez, the Education Services specialist for NRD San Antonio stated that the NRD’s return on investment has always proven fruitful.


"Each year, we have had counselors join or apply for both officer and enlisted programs, both active and reserve components," said Rodriguez, a retired master chief navy counselor. "I consider this investment as money best spent. It provides educators and other youth influencers the opportunity to better understand America's Navy as opposed to just formulating a made-up concept of who we are."


Darden recommended that teachers and counselors should attend the EOV.


"They would learn a lot, as well as change their perspective on what the Navy has to offer as it did for me."



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Updated March 1, 2017 (kbh)