By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ricardo R. Guzman
YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 10, 2013) The U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) now hosts life skills management classes offered by Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s (CFAY) Fleet Family Support Center (FFSC).
Some of the classes offered include communication assertiveness; stress, anger, time and financial management; and conflict resolution.
“These classes are designed to be used as tools that help Sailors with life management and survival,” said Angie Elting, a CFAY FFSC life skills instructor. “Classroom instruction provides the best means to determine what a person can improve with their life skills.”
Classes are conducted for Sailors of all walks of life and provide a facet for them to work on important aspects of their lives that might otherwise lead to problems in the future.
“Some Sailors come out of high school into the military with no knowledge about life itself,” said Aviations Boatswains Mate (Fuel) Airman Matt Nicolau. “There are certain people who do make mistakes or don’t know how to carry themselves, and I believe it’s because a lot don’t have the skill set to have proper communication.”
The topics discussed during classes are not just for junior Sailors but it also includes advice for deck-plate leaders and married personnel.
“Particularly for married couples and senior leadership it gives them a chance to listen to what junior Sailors are going through or take it back home and work on it there,” said Elting. “There are often gripes about leadership or families. It helps couples and leadership to judge themselves, their communication and anger skills, and see if they can be more receptive with their spouses or junior sailors.”
One of the most important points Elting tries to get across is the importance of developing verbal communication skills to further enhance the experience Sailors can gain from being in a forward-deployed environment.
“The greatest concern is usually communication with leadership,” said Elting. “There are numerous first-term Sailors here and it’s a different environment being forward-deployed. The Navy can be very new to them and it’s really looking for that mentorship and guidance. We try to help by providing these classes.”
Sailors not only leave the class with a better understanding about life skills, but they also provide them an outlet to voice their frustrations and learn how to cope with them.
“These classes offer critical knowledge and it really says something about our military community who support these classes and the instructors who take time out of their day to help Sailors gain those skills.” said Nicolau. “I’m grateful that these classes are here to help us and I will definitely keep attending.”
Sailors attending classes are strongly encouraged to use the skills taught and continue attending to see what the classes have to offer to promote personal growth and development.
“I want these Sailors to leave the classroom and really use something they learned,” said Elting. “I want them to be more aware of what they need to work on and hopefully implement the skills taught in the class.”
George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For high resolution photos of USS George Washington (CVN 73), click on our new Flickr website at http://www.flickr.com/photos/uss_george_washington/