Volunteer Sailors and civilians from Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Norfolk spoke to students on the variety of career options available within the Navy during a career day at Oceanair Elementary School this past June.
[caption id="attachment_1319" align="alignright" width="300"]
LS3 Justice Tieku (left) and SH2 Tray Bynam discuss Navy life with students at Oceanair Elementary School during their career day.
More than 400 students ranging from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade attended the event, which featured representatives from different professions within the community.
“Oceanair Elementary is our ‘adopt-a-school’ partner, and we are always looking for ways to help them,” explained Sheryl Harts, Director, Workforce Enrichment Division, Business Support Department, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk. “When they asked if we could support this event, we were more than eager to assist.”
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk’s display featured career information, hands on demonstrations and an interactive game. The girls particularly enjoyed playing with the hairstyling mannequins and asked many questions about hair cut requirements. “They asked a lot of questions about whether or not you have to cut your hair to join the Navy, and if so, how short,” said SH3(SW) Taynechia Copper, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Fleet Assist Team Resale Operations Management (ROM) II Technician. “They were also surprised to learn we have barber shops on ships and cut hair while out to sea.”
NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Fleet Assist Team ROM II Technician, SH2(SW/AW) Tray Bynam, was extremely enthusiastic and taught the students how to march in formation, calling cadence while they stepped in tune to his calls. They were so excited about the drills, one student walked away exclaiming, “Wow, being in the Navy is really cool. I want to join!”
The students were also eager to learn about military operations and asked a plethora of questions. They wanted to know how deep submarines travel and the speed at which they return to the surface, how ships are replenished and refueled at sea, how many g-forces a plane pulls, and how to be a fighter pilot. “We told them just about any job you find in the civilian community you’ll find in the Navy,” said YN3 Thomas Moffitt, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk military personnel administrative assistant. “What’s even more interesting is, the places you go and the people you meet. I have been afforded so many unique opportunities and I just wanted to let the students know how exciting and rewarding it is.”
In addition to military operations, students learned about the many unique and exciting career opportunities available for civilians. “At this young age, many of the students were surprised to learn that the Navy has jobs outside of the military uniform,” Harts said. “They were excited to discover that many of their initial career dreams could be accomplished in support of the Navy.”
“The career day was a great opportunity for students to interact with professionals they normally wouldn’t come in contact with on a regular basis,” said Monica Flynn, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk assistant counsel. “Their faces lit up when we spoke with them. It was really inspiring.”
[caption id="attachment_1318" align="alignleft" width="300"]
NAVSUP FLC Assistant Counsel Monica Flynn helps students with an interactive game designed to show how an aircraft carrier is like a floating city.
Merlyn Blackwood, school counselor and coordinator of the event, praised NAVSUP FLC Norfolk for their involvement not only with this event but throughout the year. “We are their adopted school, and they always step up to support our team,” she explained. “They always arrive with a smile, interact with the students, and really care about making a difference. “
“It is always a joy to work with the staff of Oceanair Elementary in supporting their efforts to grow these young children, Harts said. “We do what we can to support their dedicated efforts, and in some small way, hope to make a difference in each child’s life.”
By Anita Tornyai, NAVSUP FLC Norfolk Office of Corporate Communications