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    Two Sailors Make a PACT

    USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jairus Bailey | 190613-N-HS716-0038 ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 13, 2019) Seaman Jonathan Gancayco, from...... read more read more

    For some undesignated Sailors, picking a rate can be a tough decision. However, for two Sailors on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), it means moving to smaller ships like destroyers, cruisers and amphibious assault ships to maintain the ship’s vital gas turbine systems.

    Gas Turbine System Technician (GSM) 3rd Class Johnathan Gancayco and Gas Turbine System Technician Fireman Mikayla Preston just picked up the rate GSM through the Professional Apprenticeship Career Track (PACT) program.

    “Before the PACT program, my only choices were to be a Yeoman or Personnel Specialist, but because of PACT, I got to choose the GSM rate,” said Gancayco. “I thought it would be cool if I could get an engineering rate.”

    The PACT program allows Sailors to choose among the rates they qualify for.

    “When I first went to MEPS, my first choice was originally GSM, but when I received the description, I had no idea what anything meant,” said Preston. “I ended up choosing undesignated so I could see what other rates do.”

    He is glad he had the opportunity to choose GSM again instead of being stuck in a job he didn’t want, said Gancayco. Back in November they got to choose five rates that they wanted and GSM was their first choice. Their mentor, Ensign Carlo Pamintuan, was a GSM, so they were fortunate to learn about their rate from him.

    “I was a GSM for 13 years before I decided to go officer,” said Ensign Carlo Pamintuan, a prior GSMC and Gancayco’s and Preston’s mentor. “Being a GSM was what made me appreciate what the Navy had to offer. When I first enlisted, I asked my recruiter for a job that would get my hands dirty. He didn’t lie, that’s for sure.”

    Gancayco said when he chose GSM, he had no idea what the job was or what he was getting himself into.

    “GSMs work on small boys,” said Preston. “We are the equivalent of reactor on carriers, but for smaller ships like destroyers.”

    They are in charge of the main propulsion, and apply corrective maintenance to gas turbine engines, said Pamintuan. GSMs are also in charge of auxiliary support of the system. They use multiple types of fuels that aircraft carriers would not carry as well as JP-5. Being a GSM is hard work, but you learn so much that it can shape your future if you are the best of the best.

    “I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received from my mentor, and from my fellow GSM, Preston,” said Gancayco. “I think getting this rate is the first step to a long and fruitful Navy career.”

    Preston’s next command is the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) and Gancayco is reporting to school in San Diego before going to his next command.

    For those willing to put in the work, undesignated Sailors have abundant opportunities to choose their fate and make the most out of their naval career.



    Date Taken: 05.11.2020
    Date Posted: 05.11.2020 02:29
    Story ID: 369669
    Location: ARABIAN SEA

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