News: Navy Reserve sailor earns the points to advance
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Verbis
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Phoenix native U.S. Navy Information Technology (IT) 2nd Class Aimee Aguilar was promoted to petty officer first class Jan. 25 at Navy Operational Support Center Phoenix.
Aguilar’s road to advancement is a unique story.
“I was just a young kid, straight out of high school when I left for the Navy,” said Aguilar. “I think I just realized that everything has come full circle for me. All of the goals I set out to accomplish when I was 19 have come to fruition.”
During her years in uniform, Aguilar served aboard ship and ashore. Her first assignment following “A” School was at the Navy Information Operations Command in Yokosuka, Japan.
In her next assignment, she served sea duty aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) with Strike Fighter Squadron 195 (VFA-195) visiting South Korea, Guam, Hawaii and San Diego. Aguilar cross-decked to the USS George Washington and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 4. She deployed to Afghanistan for nine months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with NMCB 4, working in the IT shop on board Seabee Camp Krutke, which operates on Camp Leatherneck in the RC Southwest.
In 2013, Aguilar had to make a difficult decision about her Navy career.
“The importance of family cannot be understated,” said Aguilar. “I joined the Navy Reserve because it was the best choice for my family. It’s still surreal being back home but I love the flexibility. I can continue to pursue my civilian goals, while not missing a beat in my military career. It’s the best of both worlds.”
When Aguilar learned that she fell short of the requirement needed to advance from the fall exam, she took initiative. As luck would have it, timing would be her biggest asset. Aguilar graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a Bachelor of Science in information systems management and received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal from her assignment with NMCB 4, both achievements count toward critical advancement points.
"Sometimes it is all about the timing,” said Aguilar. “But I knew I had the points to advance so I took the initiative to make my case and it paid off.”
Aguilar explains that this frocking ceremony held a special meaning for her as it was the first time she was pinned by her 5-year-old son, Kai.
“Having Kai be a part of my frocking puts me at a loss for words,” said Aguilar. “He’s an incredibly important part of my life and a big reason I’m celebrating this achievement in my hometown. I didn't expect to react so strongly to him putting on my devices, but I’m so proud of him.”
Aguilar added that she was overwhelmed with emotion during the frocking ceremony.
“Being frocked is one of those fine Navy traditions which strike a powerful chord no matter how long you have served,” said Aguilar. “It’s wonderful to celebrate my shipmates’ accomplishments but when it is was my turn, I was bursting at the seams with feelings of gratitude and pride.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Aguilar is assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Phoenix.
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