By MC3 Lorenzo J. Burleson
USS Gettysburg Public Affairs

Sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) were awarded the fiscal year 2013 Retention Excellence Award Feb. 16. 

The Retention Excellence Award, or Golden Anchor Award, is presented to ships that demonstrate exemplary performance in command, program, procedures and policies throughout the fiscal year. 

"Winning the Golden Anchor Award indicates that our Sailors have a good grasp on our career development program," said Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Daniel Hacker, CMC aboard Gettysburg. "This is a very proud moment for myself and the entire crew because it shows we are meeting the Navy's standard of growth and development for Sailors."

To be eligible for the Golden Anchor Award, per instruction, ships are required to meet multiple criteria. Some of the requirements include achieving 85 points or better on the annual career information program review (CIPR), achieving 100 percent C-WAY on-time submission for eligible Sailors, and maintaining 100 percent Navy wide advancement exam validations for results released during the fiscal year.

"We were able to achieve 100 percent on many of the award requirements which shows how much pride and dedication the crew takes in the career development of each Sailor," said Navy Counselor 1st Class (SW) Raymond Wiemer. "Winning this award shows that we are taking care of our Sailors and setting them up for success." 

Ceremonially, ships that are recognized for winning the Golden Anchor Award paint their anchors gold and are permitted to fly the retention excellence award pennant as a symbol of their accomplishments. 

Since Gettysburg's anchors are painted gold from winning the award the previous fiscal year, plans have been set to add a fresh coat, said Wiemer. 

"Winning this award two years straight is a great accomplishment for Gettysburg and the crew," said Wiemer. "I'm confident that we can continue this trend going into the next fiscal year."

Wiemer said he looks forward to returning to homeport displaying the ship's painted gold anchors and hoisting the retention excellence award flag.

"It's going to be a exciting moment when we are able to show our family and friends the accomplishment of the ship when we return to homeport," said Wiemer. "This award makes me proud to be on board serving the Gettysburg crew during deployment."  

Gettysburg is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.