U.S. Navy Gunner's Mate 3 Jace S. Burnham

U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate 3 Jace S. Burnham of Armuchee qualifies as an Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist.

U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate 3 Jace S. Burnham has qualified as an Enlisted Expeditionary Warfare Specialist.

Burnham, a 2018 graduate of Armuchee High School, is on his first deployment to the Middle East with the Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces, serving aboard small harbor craft protecting vital waterways near the United Arab Emirates.

The EXW designation was established in 2006 to recognize sailors assigned to Navy special warfare and expeditionary combat commands who demonstrate a high proficiency in skills associated with coastal and inland warfare.

To earn the insignia, sailors must first pass the Personal Qualification Standard written exam covering a wide range of skills such as land navigation, survival, convoy operations, weapons fundamentals, and camp security.

Then they face the “murder board,” EXW-qualified petty officers who test them on the skills, including escape and evasion. The final step is a hearing in front of a senior board.

“Putting in the extra time earning the EXW is worth it,” Burnham said. “It gives you something to do in your off-duty hours that helps pass the time while on deployment, and it is also beneficial to your career. I have built friendships with fellow sailors while studying and I have sharpened my skills as an expeditionary team member.”

Burnham is slated to return to the United States sometime this summer. He is stationed in Little Creek, Virginia.

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