By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
Twenty-one sailors reenlisted aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) June 30, 2018.
This was the most reenlistments to occur in one day aboard Donald Cook.
“It was a great day for Donald Cook,” said the ship’s Command Master Chief Jeremy Douglas. “We reenlisted 21 Sailors for a grand total of $530,590 in tax-free reenlistment bonuses!”
Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Omani Welch, from San Antonio, is using her bonus to build her long-term savings.
“I plan on using the money towards some of my student loans and paying off my car so by the time I get out I can be debt free,” Welch said, “I joined to better my life, myself and to figure out what I really wanted to do.”
Gunner's Mate 2nd Class David Gonzalez, from Clinton Township, Michigan, chose to reenlist to see what the Navy had to offer.
“I wanted to make it to shore duty,” said Gonzalez. “I didn’t just want to see the sea-going aspect of the Navy – I wanted to see what else I could do. I didn’t want this first command to influence my choice on whether or not I should just do four years and get out.”
Reenlisting isn’t all about the money; although it is an amazing incentive, some Sailors who reenlisted plan to make the Navy a career.
“I knew I wanted to make this a career when I joined,” said Damage Controlman 2nd Class Julie Sesmas, from Sun City, California. “Six years was the highest I could reenlist for now, but I’m definitely going to make my way up to becoming a master chief: that’s my goal! When I’m up for shore duty I want to teach at a firehouse back in the U.S. or overseas. I love teaching my rate.”
Whether it be life outside the Navy, making the Navy a career, or just finding out what the Navy has to offer, these Sailors have proven themselves dedicated to service.
“The Donald Cook team is doing a great job at retaining some of the finest young talent the U.S. has to offer,” said Douglas.