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Navy searching for USS Antietam advancement exams lost in mail

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Mele Filiai directs a helicopter from the flight deck of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William McCann/Released)

The command of the USS Antietam is searching for crew members’ advancement exams that were apparently lost in the mail on their way to a Florida processing center.

On Wednesday, Capt. George Kessler, the commander of the guided-missile cruiser, informed the crew of the status of the missing exams on Facebook, promising an update by Thursday “at a minimum.”

“We verified receipt of our exams at Camp Walker Post Office in Korea,” Kessler wrote. “The next location in the postal chain is Osan Air Mobility Command. Once we verify receipt, I will provide an update. I am confident we will track down the exams through registered mail.”

The USS Antietam referred questions by Stars and Stripes to Task Force 70, which was not immediately able to provide further information.

Kessler said in the posting that the master chief on Wednesday would contact the Naval Education and Training Professional Development Center in Pensacola, Fla., “to determine the path ahead once we locate our exam answer sheets.”

The USS Antietam is homeported at Yokosuka, Japan.

The Navy advancement exam consists of 175 questions, with 150 of them related to the exam-taker’s rating and another 25 about professional military knowledge.

Navy advancement exams have been lost in the mail before.

In 2006, 251 Naples-based third-class petty officers were informed that they’d have to retake their exams after their first answer sheets were lost in the mail.

“I can only tell you personally that I’m sorry, and we as a system failed you and we need to assume accountability for that,” Command Master Chief Gustavo Beltra told a gathering of affected sailors in the wake of that loss.

Beltra said that identify theft was a concern because the lost exams contained personal information, such as Social Security numbers. He advised sailors to monitor credit reports and report suspicious activity.


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