Several sailors aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) recently selected rates after following a year-long Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) pipeline. Roosevelt, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, is currently on its fourth Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol.

In the traditional pipeline, Sailors choose a rate, or job, during their screening process to enter the Navy from an array of choices based on their ASVAB score and Navy-wide manning requirements. For some, this could present a barrier to entry – being faced with a career impacting decision so early.

The PACT program breaks down that barrier by allowing Sailors to join the Navy “undesignated,” without a rate assigned. They then go through a yearlong process that allows them to work with different rates aboard, retake the ASVAB if desired, and ultimately apply for a rate.

“PACT provides our Sailors an invaluable opportunity to get hands on experience in different rates aboard an actual, operational warship prior to making that important career decision,” said Navy Counselor 1st Class Julio Lamar, Roosevelt’s career counselor. “This program is beneficial to individuals and to the Navy as a whole – we get to match Sailors to rates that they know are right for them, and that benefits the Navy as a whole through overall job satisfaction and reenlistment rates.”

Roosevelt has had great success with the PACT program – recent assignments have been Fireman Ana Aguilar selecting machinists mate, Seaman Erik Bauman selecting hospital corpsman, Seaman Patrick Castillo-Paz selecting gunners mate, Seaman Brandon Garcia-Ramirez selecting master-at-arms, and Seamen Kelvin Merritt, Wesley Soto de Jesus, and Jordin Vazquez all selecting logistics specialist.

“We are all about investing in our team aboard Roosevelt,” said Cmdr. John Mastriani, commanding officer of Roosevelt. “Operating successfully in this environment requires dedication from every member on the ship – and that is fed heavily by our Sailors’ sense of purpose and pursuit of personal growth. The PACT program gives us another tool to make sure Sailors are placed where they want to be, where they are excited, and where they will excel.”

These Sailors, now having “struck” their rating, are able to join their respective divisions while still aboard Roosevelt, increasing depth of talent and infusing aptitude and energy to their new teams.
USS Roosevelt, forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, began its fourth Forward Deployed Naval Forces-Europe (FDNF-E) patrol Sept. 27 in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.