NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — One of the top United States Navy leaders was in Hampton Roads Tuesday.
Chief of Naval Personnel John Nowell observed new technology and took time to recognize the sailors who have adjusted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chief of naval personnel said the goal is warfighting readiness. He said the resources at the “My Navy Career Center” help sailors, their families and retirees keep them on track to reach that goal.
“I’m not a military child, I’m a civilian, so with coming in here and getting the proper training to help someone else, it’s a great feeling,” said Sharisse Brooks.
Brooks is one of the several operators at the My Navy Career Center at Little Creek. Although she does not have a background in the military, she’s dedicated her time to help military personnel during the pandemic.
“We get pay issues, retirement with pay issues, and just general inquiries and we assist them as quickly as we can,” she said.
Since the pandemic began in the U.S., these operators have been working around the clock to serve even more sailors, their families and even retirees.
It’s that work that Nowell wanted to see today when he toured the center.
“To make sure that we heard — my fleet master chief and I — that we heard from them ‘Where can we help make it easier for you to do that job? Where can we break down barriers?'” said Nowell.
That starts with a new technology rollout that helps the operator better evaluate the customer’s needs and provide better feedback to callers. Hardship Duty Pay and Permanent Change of Duty Station orders have been the most concerning calls.
Nowell says the workers who continue to come in to help are unsung heroes.
“Typically, folks who are doing this kind of work, the only time they get attention is when something goes wrong and then they get a lot of attention. So, what I wanted was to be the person from Washington who comes here to … say ‘thank you,'” said Nowell.