SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) — The fleet career counselor for U.S. Pacific Fleet spoke to Sailors during an informational brief at the Big Screen Theatre aboard U.S. Naval Base Guam, June 16.

Master Chief Navy Counselor (SW/SCW/AW) Brent Emricson mainly focused on Perform to Serve (PTS) and enlisted retention board (ERB) programs. Emricson told the group that a proactive approach to each Sailor's career is paramount. He said each Sailor needs to know about each program and not wait to the last minute to complete requirements.

"The biggest thing I wanted to stress is to learn these two programs and if you don't know something, to take the time to read on them and answer questions," he said. "The real decision you have to make is whether you want to stay in the Navy. If you do want to stay in, you need to study your course material and compete or you may have to cross-rate into a job where the Navy needs you."

U.S. Naval Base Guam Chief Navy Career Counselor (SW/AW) John Jeffries said the information presented by Emricson was important to Sailors, leaders, and Navy counselors on the island.

"Master chief gave us very valuable information; not only [for] the Navy counselors but for Sailors as well," Jefferies said. "These programs are affecting Sailors across the board and it is up to the Sailor to keep track of these programs and any changes that may arise, and for leaders and Navy counselors to make sure that we provide the tools and the guidance for our Sailors to succeed."

Jeffries said he will pass on the information to those that did not attend and update his own Sailors on information mentioned at the brief.

"The more educated we are about the programs, the better we can make decisions about our careers," Jeffries said.

PTS features a centralized reenlistment and extension reservation system giving Sailors other avenues to pursue success. Designed primarily with fleet input to meet fleet readiness needs, PTS offers Sailors in ratings with stalled advancement an opportunity to reenlist and retrain in a rating where advancement is better and the fleet most needs skilled people.

The ERB will eliminate over-manning in 31 ratings and will benefit high-performing Sailors in the long run by improving advancement opportunities. The Navy has witnessed improved retention over the past decade, which can be attributed to factors such as work-life balance initiatives and improved recruiting.

For more information on PTS or ERB, contact your command career counselor.

For more news from U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, visit www.navy.mil/local/guam/.