2015 Articles not related to Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH)
Part I of III - 1 January to 14 April 2015
Part II of III - 15 April to 12 June 2015
Part III of III - 13 June to 31 December 2015
150415-N-RU672-690 - SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (April 15, 2015) Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danian Douglas salutes Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner after presenting him with a flag that was flown over President Abraham Lincoln's grave during a memorial service on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. Sailors stationed aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are participating in events around the country honoring the passing of our 16th president. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Evan Parker/Released)
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Commemorate 150th Anniversary of Namesake's Passing
“As the nation reflected on the passing of the 16th president of our nation, Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) participated in a variety of remembrance events in Illinois, Virginia and the nation's capital to commemorate their namesake's long-lasting legacy from 13 to 15 April 2015.
Nearly a dozen Sailors started the week of remembrance by participating in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Soldiers' Home in the nation's capital, April 13th. The ceremony, coordinated by President Lincoln's Cottage was held to trace President Lincoln's last steps from the White House to the home for wounded Civil War soldiers.
On April 15, Sailors began the day lining the walkway in front of Ford's Theater to the Petersen house; facing re-enactors dressed in Civil War-era clothing lined the opposite walkway in commemoration of his passing.
Nearly 800 miles away in the "Home of Lincoln" other Sailors attended a remembrance ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield, Illinois. Sailors finalized the day in Norfolk by touring "Shooting Lincoln", a photography exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art.
"I found it fitting that today I was able to represent my country and ship in honoring President Lincoln amongst my fellow Illinoisans," Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collection) Jeremy Crandall said. "Through today's activities, I believe our Sailors cemented an unending relationship with the Springfield community. I am proud to call myself a Sailor, but even prouder of the fact that I can count myself among the Sailors of USS Abraham Lincoln."
Carla Knorowski, CEO, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, coordinated the commemoration ceremony. "History is important. This is the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's passing, and though he is always relevant and close to the hearts of people all across America as well as all over the world. It is important to come together on this day not just to remember his death 150 years ago but to celebrate how he lived," Knorowski said.
During the ceremony in Springfield, Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danian Douglas presented a flag to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. The flag will become a permanent part of the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, as the official flag of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's passing.
Tom Dreesen, comedian and U.S. Navy retiree, spoke at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation commemoration ceremony in Springfield and reflected on Lincoln's leadership skills. "He wasn't afraid to risk, he wasn't afraid to stand up for what he knew was right, knowing it would divide a nation. He was a man of integrity and he knew what he stood for.
If you're a true leader, you're a leader because you're not afraid to make decisions. Abraham Lincoln was a great leader because he made tough decisions," Dreesen said.
On April 14, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation to proclaim April 15 as a "Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln."
"I call upon all Americans to honor his life and legacy with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities," according to the citation. "President Lincoln believed in the fierce independence that lies at the heart of the American experience. But he also knew that together, we can do great things -- that it is through the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary women and men that our country is perfected and our liberty preserved."
In honor of Lincoln's devotion to the nation, President Obama also directed that flags be flown at half-staff on the Day of Remembrance. Alex Mann, Brock Curator of American Art, discussed the photos on exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk.
"These images of Lincoln were created during his presidency and printed on paper that is 150 years old," Mann said, adding that Lincoln was the most photographed American of his time. "People wanted to know what their leader looked like."
Damage Controlman 2nd Class Michael Everhart participated in ceremonies at Ford's Theater and reflected on the hundreds of people who came to remember the 16th president.
"It's an honor to represent our ship at this remembrance of Lincoln's life. It was breathtaking to see how many people showed up to honor his legacy and pay tribute to a man that changed our history books forever," Everhart said.
Inspired by retracing the footsteps of his ship's namesake, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Clay Drew, discussed being a part of a special moment in history.
"It's one thing to study the story of Lincoln in school, but to actually be a part of the celebration of his life and see the actual building and places he spent his last hours brings a whole new meaning to it all," Drew said.
Ship's Serviceman Seaman TeMarcus Jones discussed the pride he has for serving aboard USS Abraham Lincoln.
"We have had so many people come up to us today and thank us for being here to remember President Lincoln and represent his legacy as Sailors named for him," Jones said. "It makes me proud to serve aboard USS Abraham Lincoln knowing that he did so much to shape the country"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150417-18 - Release Date: 4/17/2015 3:04:00 PM - From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln's Motorcycle Club Promotes Safe Riding
“With the summer months rapidly approaching, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) motorcycle club hosted a motorcycle safety symposium in Newport News on 15 April 2015 to promote safety among both experienced riders and prospective riders. Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Dustin Truebenbach, president of the motorcycle club, put the event together to pass on information to riders before summer begins.
"This symposium plays an important role in getting vital information out to all the Sailors who are interested in riding before they purchase a motorcycle," Truebenbach said. "It's also a great refresher for active riders. It may be stuff they already know, but it's important to be aware since riding season is almost in full swing." Virginia State Troopers Bryce Meekins and Seth Parks talked to Sailors about the rules of the road and demonstrated proper and legal safety maneuvers for motorcycle riding.
Meekins explained that although safety always comes first, Sailors should have fun too. "Just be careful of the people on the road with you," Meekins said. "They don't always pay attention like you think they would. It can be dangerous out there." Sailors in attendance also learned the Navy's basic personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements and how to inspect a motorcycle for safety violations before riding.
Fire Controlman 1st Class Nicole Stanley, vice president of the club and a motorcycle enthusiast for more than 20 years, has no problem sharing her knowledge with anyone who asks, whether they're experienced or just curious about motorcycles. "Everyone who has questions can get them answered," Stanley said. "It's a great opportunity for us to get together and just exchange information."
Lincoln's motorcycle club promotes riding safe above all else, but also gives Sailors who wish to ride an outlet to do so. "Abraham Lincoln motorcycle club is a mentorship group," Stanley said. "We're here to give support to all Sailors on board and offer them the opportunity to get information on what types of bikes to buy and safety requirements for the Navy and the state of Virginia."
Truebenbach and Stanley coordinate safety rides for the crew. Anyone who is licensed and qualified to ride is encouraged to join the group. "Safety rides are important because that's where Sailors learn the rules of the road," Stanley explained. "I have a clear mind knowing the information that I give to my fellow Sailors will stick, and as a command we can continue to ride safely."
Stanley further added that these types of events help to form camaraderie on board between Sailors from different communities on the ship, of different ranks and departments, getting together to have fun and ride safe. Truebenbach made it a point to encourage people to come out, even just to see if motorcycles interest them. "It's the love of riding that brings us together," Truebenbach said.
"We pass on all training to new and potential riders because we want every motorcycle rider to make it home safe"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150417-19 - Release Date: 4/17/2015 3:10:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rob Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Perform Nearly 5,000 Haircuts Since the Start of RCOH
As reported on 16 April 2015, “USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors assigned to the ship's barber shop have achieved their own milestone by completing nearly 5,000 haircuts since the start of the ship's Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News in March 2013.
Chief Ship's Serviceman Geanice Huff, who oversees the division of more than 40 Sailors, spoke highly of the Sailors working in Lincoln's barber shop. "The Sailors assigned to Lincoln's barber shop truly play a pivotal role in maintaining morale," Huff said, who added the number of haircuts performed is evident of their workmanship.
Ship's Serviceman Apprentice TeMarcus Jones, who at 19, serves as the head barber on board USS Abraham Lincoln, discussed the service he is providing for Lincoln's crew.
"It's important to have an operational barber shop during RCOH because we offer a service for the Sailors to maintain proper grooming standards," Jones said. "Our Sailors don't always have time to get a proper haircut out in town, that's where we can help to provide a haircut that might be better and it is free."
Jones and two other Sailors are assigned to the ship's barber shop. The three lead the charge in maintaining proper grooming standards for the crew of Lincoln. "Our barbers are on point and doing an excellent job," said Ship's Servicemen 3rd Class Martin Dewey, supervisor of the Lincoln barber shop.
Jones credits his mentor, a civilian barber, who helped inspire him to pursue a career in the U.S. Navy when he received his first hair cut at the age of 14.
"His actions inspired me to pursue a career as a barber," Jones said. "Actually, when I arrived on board, I sent him a long letter thanking him for being my mentor."
Jones added that a good conversation in a barber shop can improve morale; something he also learned from his mentor.
"I try to give my customers what they want," Jones said. "I try to relate to them in any way possible. I ensure they come in and get exactly what they ask for, and even better"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150416-11 - Release Date: 4/16/2015 11:37:00 AM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Maintain Their Health One Step at a Time
As reported on 16 April 2016, “As USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors make their final preparations for their upcoming physical fitness assessment in May a lot of their preparation is accredited to their daily walk to and from the aircraft carrier as it undergoes its Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in Newport News, Virginia.
The majority of Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier walk an average of two to five miles daily. However, on duty days that number increases incredibly, which has its advantages according to Chris Jacquard, USS Abraham Lincoln's fit boss.
"Walking longer distances during the work day keeps your body mobile and burns calories that your body would otherwise store in the form of body fat," said Chris Jacquard, USS Abraham Lincoln's fit boss.
Jacquard added that forming good physical habits and staying consistent is key to maintaining physical fitness levels. Walking, added Jacquard is just one aspect of maintaining overall health.
"Being consistent with your daily routine of walking at an increased pace and walking with proper body posture can have positive effects on your quality of life," said Jaquard. "A daily walking routine that is vigorous and lengthy can be a great tool for staying fit and healthy along with forming good habits that lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle."
Walking upwards to five miles a day is a great way to increase energy levels and improve overall health added Jacquard especially combating our sedentary lifestyles” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150416-21 - Release Date: 4/16/2015 2:26:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Leaders Attend ADAMS Class
“More than 200 Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) participated in an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Management Supervisor class at the VASCIC building in Newport News on 22 April 2015, to learn how to handle substance abuse the right way.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Hamilton Bryant, leading petty officer of Abraham Lincoln's Training Department, helped facilitate the training to teach Lincoln's leaders how to "detect, intervene, and guide" their Sailors in the right direction. "This training is basically to get supervisors out there and speak with their junior Sailors," Bryant said. "The more we interact, the fewer incidents we will have on the ship." Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Maxwell K. Molidor looked forward to the opportunity to pass vital information on to his peers. "It was helpful, learning the different situations that may occur and the proper channels to go through to help protect the Sailor's career as well as your own," Molidor said.
"It's a good way for Lincoln's leadership to be made aware of the problems Sailors are having, whether they are prevalent here or not." The training included a power point presentation that outlined what a supervisor should do when problems arise with their junior Sailors. "Everyone here is E-5 and above," Bryant said. "We're all leaders. We have to understand the roles that we take in our Sailors' lives." Geared mostly toward substance abuse, the training also touched on various other issues including suicide prevention and sexual assault awareness. Bryant made it clear that there are plenty of outlets for those who need guidance. "Some of the Sailors I know, I look at them and if they just had their senior leadership take more interest in their lives they would open up more," Bryant said.
"If you ever need help, call. Call me, call my chief and so on and so forth. Don't take it upon yourself to fall into a depressive state." More than anything else Bryant hopes the training will carry over and people in leadership positions will put it into effect. "Sometimes just a spark of conversation, you will find out what's going on in someone's life, because they will want to tell somebody and get it out in the open instead of keeping it bottled up," Bryant said. "The more you keep stuff bottled up, the more likely you're going to do something you regret later"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150423-19 - Release Date: 4/23/2015 2:15:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rob Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Surprised With Navy Achievement Medal
“Three Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) were awarded Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (NAM) during a ceremony on 23 April 2015.
Lincoln's Commanding Officer, Capt. Ron Ravelo, presented NAMs to Culinary Specialist 1st Class James E. Parrott, Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Chad P. Smith, and Seaman Apprentice Benjamin T. Priebe in recognition of their continued success and hard work during Lincoln's current phase of its Refueling Complex and Overhaul (RCOH).
"I have been here for about four-and-a-half years and I'm getting ready to transfer, so it was a nice going-away gift," Smith said about receiving the award. The NAM was created in 1961 as a way to recognize junior officers and enlisted personnel for outstanding work in their field or for going above and beyond the call of duty.
"It feels good to be acknowledged for our work," Parrott said. "It is nice to know that we are not just working to work, but we are actually contributing." Sailors were recognized for their hard work and dedication.
"It has been a lot of hard work over the past nine months and it feels good to be recognized for it," Priebe said. "My parents keep saying how proud of me they are and I wish I could be there to see their reaction, because they're going to be really excited"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150504-15 - Release Date: 5/4/2015 1:41:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Paul E. Manukin III, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailor Performs Heimlich maneuver on Fellow Sailor
“Despite being on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) for less than a month, Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handler) Airman Recruit Joseph Palos, put skills to motion when he saved a fellow USS Abraham Lincoln Sailor from choking on 23 April 2015.
At a young age Palos learned about life saving from his firefighter father who recently retired from the Corsicana Fire Department in Corsicana, Texas.
"My father started as a fire marshal and spent 24 years serving the small community of Corsicana," said Palos, who decided to follow his father's footsteps of service and enlist into the Navy. "I told him about it yesterday and he was really proud of me." Palos who was eating on board the Floating Accommodation Facility on April 23 noticed a fellow Sailor who after eating a portion of his meal was not breathing.
"I immediately got up and asked him if he needed assistance and confirmed he was not breathing," said Palos, who immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver three times until the Sailor's airway was clear. "I realized what had just happened and never thought I would actually have to do that. It was definitely a good feeling." Capt. Ron Ravelo, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln emphasized the importance of situational awareness and quick thinking.
"I'm so pleased to see that despite such little time in the service and aboard our ship he had the confidence, situational awareness, and quick thinking to respond," said Ravelo. "He clearly prevented a potential tragedy. Ultimately, this is the type of caring that will enable our success in Refueling and Complex Overhaul. He comes from a family of first responders and they should be justifiably proud at the impact he has already made in his first command."
Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handler) Donovan Mahiai reflected on his Sailor's actions. "He certainly has made an impression with less than a month on board," said Mahiai, who appreciated his Sailor's life-saving actions. Palos, who is assigned to Lincoln's Air Department, is the fourth Sailor to offer life-saving assistance from that department while the aircraft carrier undergoes its RCOH in Newport News.
Lt. Cmdr. Gary Lane, also assigned to Lincoln's Air Department, was first on the scene after a vehicle roll-over in Newport News, Jan. 16, 2015, and rendered his assistance. Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Devon Bishop and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Jessica Jusino, also from Air Department, rescued an elderly woman from her Newport News residence on July 1, 2014” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150427-26 - Release Date: 4/27/2015 9:39:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Officer Goes the Distance to Reenlist his Sailor
“Yeoman 3rd Class Paul Allen, a Sailor assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), dared to hold his reenlistment from the top of a 310-ton crane overlooking the carrier and Newport News Shipbuilding on 24 April 2015.
A reenlistment is not an unusual thing to witness while one is serving in the United States Navy. They are a special occasion for everyone involved and often they are in a unique place of meaning to the person who is reenlisting. "I chose to reenlist above the Abraham Lincoln because I'm the type of person to set my own footsteps and not follow in someone else's," said Allen.
"I wanted to do something new and exciting, something that to my knowledge has never been done before." The idea to reenlist on top of the crane wasn't his idea alone. When two people who are excited to work together decide to put their heads together amazing things can happen. "I was honored to have been asked to reenlist YN3 Allen," said Lt. Cmdr. John Leitner, administrative officer assigned to Abraham Lincoln.
"He's one of my go-to Sailors and an absolute superstar. We actually came up with the idea to reenlist on top of the 310-ton crane together. We were brain-storming on good places to do his reenlistment, and that monster of a crane came to mind." Allen approached Leitner to reenlist him because not only did he know how excited Leitner would be to do it but because he has been a great mentor.
"I came to him to be my reenlisting officer because he had been a great teacher as far as the rate goes and just overall a phenomenal department head," Allen said. "He jumped at the opportunity to reenlist me and asked if I had a location in mind, before I knew it we were 19 stories above the dry dock and it was amazing. He was the reason and inspiration for the choice of the crane." This wasn't Leitner's first time being the reenlisting officer and it will probably not be his last.
He takes great pride in reenlisting Sailors no matter the location. "I have conducted over 50 reenlistments since being commissioned in 2000," Leitner said. "Every Sailor's reenlistment has meant the world to me, no matter the venue. From ceremonies as simple as just me and a Sailor in my office to reenlisting a Sailor on the winner's circle platform at a stock race, they've all been special. It's truly an honor that I take seriously."
Leitner added that whether you are the Sailor being reenlisted or the officer conducting the ceremony, it holds special meaning to all involved in the occasion” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150430-22 - Release Date: 4/30/2015 2:45:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick D. Maher, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Volunteer at Armed Forces Retirement Home in D.C.
“Sailors associated with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) volunteered at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington D.C. on 24 April 2015.
Lincoln Sailors travelled to Washington D.C. to assist with setting up and helping home residents attend a choir performance presented by the Scarborough High School choir from Scarborough, Maine.
JEA members were excited to assist the AFRH and their residents because they understand the importance of giving back to the community.
"It's nice to be able to help out the veterans and give them the respect they deserve," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Marshall Dawson.
The JEA Sailors recognize the importance of community service and what it means to give back to the military and veteran community.
"Our whole goal is to reach out and help the community while representing the Navy in a positive way," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) Jaclynn Madden. "It's 10 times more rewarding knowing that we're going to give back to the people who have served before us."
The residents said that they looked forward to meeting and speaking with current active-duty military members because it gives them a chance to get to know their relief.
"We enjoy having active-duty personnel come in," said Franklin Lawrence, resident and community relations associate. "We appreciate that you take the time to come down and spend time with us."
Many of the residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home appreciate it when groups come to the home to perform because it gives residents, who are less independent, to enjoy music performances.
The Scarborough High School choir performance consisted of a variety of music styles featuring songs such as "So Happy Together" by The Turtles and "If" by David Gates” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150428-23 - Release Date: 4/28/2015 8:28:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Liana Clough, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, WASHINGTON, D.C. (NNS)).
Air Force Captain Reenlists Abraham Lincoln Navy Petty Officer
“Traditionally when Sailors reenlist, their reenlisting officer is a commissioned naval officer. Machinery Repairman 1st Class Christian Camp, swearing in for what will be her last tour before retiring, chose a more unorthodox approach. Camp, assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), was read the reenlistment oath by Air Force Capt. Kristina Dempsey in Newport News on 30 April 2015. "I wanted to choose a reenlisting officer who wasn't the standard division officer or department head," Camp said. "I knew this would take me into retirement, so I wanted it to be someone who is close to me." Camp and Dempsey have known each other for about six years. It wasn't work that introduced them, but instead it was softball. But Dempsey says the joining of different branches is as equally important in a recreational setting.
"On the softball field or not, we are the world's greatest military, and we all bring something to the fight," Dempsey said. "I've learned that we can't do our jobs without one another. We may butt heads and disagree on things, but in the end we all have a common mission: To serve our country and protect it." This was the first time Camp and Dempsey attended a military event in uniform together. The past few years they have played on the All Armed Forces Softball team, an amalgam of the best players from each service who compete in an annual national tournament. "We have a lot of history together," Camp said. "Although we really don't know each other at work both of us know we approach the game in the same way. Our actions on the field translate over to our jobs - we take it seriously and are leaders, on and off the field."
Softball and the military may have a stronger correlation than most realize, according to Camp. "I learned at a very young age that softball is a team sport," Camp said. "I'm not going to succeed, or fail for that matter, on my own. The same goes with the military. We have a mission to compete every day, even if it's just preparing a space to be painted. The common goal of our military takes an overall team effort." Dempsey jumped at the opportunity to reenlist a fellow service member. "Sailor, Airman, Marine, Soldier... I wouldn't ever turn anyone down if they asked me to reenlist them," Dempsey said. "It's one of the greatest honors an officer can receive. It's a huge milestone in Camp's career, and to be asked to take part in it is truly a privilege."
Dempsey's deference for Camp isn't restrained by the fence around the softball diamond. Their mutual respect contributes to the strength of the military as a whole, professionally as well as recreationally. "I haven't had much experience with too many Sailors, but if they are anything like Camp, I'd say the Navy has a phenomenal crew on their hands," Dempsey said. "We all show enormous pride in the service we represent.
We all poke fun at one another at times, but when things get serious, we have the ability to demonstrate the value of what each service brings, and to show how much we appreciate each other"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150512-03 - Release Date: 5/12/2015 9:12:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rob Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Visit the Land of Lincoln on the 150th Anniversary of Namesake's Funeral
“Capt. Ron Ravelo, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), Command Master Chief Lee Salas and five other Sailors visited the "Land of Lincoln" to commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's funeral from 1 to 4 May 2015.
"It is a tremendous pleasure to be here at this moment in history," Ravelo said. "To have this opportunity to visit the place where he started truly adds that special touch and really drives home the significance of the man who we represent."
Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Kyle Rupel, a resident of the Springfield area, participated in the visit and reflected on the hospitality and pride that was shown during the celebration of his hometown's favorite resident.
"It truly has been a privilege to return to Springfield," Rupel said. "I am deeply honored by the hospitality shown to members of my crew during our visit."
Rupel, who joined the Navy in 2011, was joined by another junior Sailor, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class (Handling) Lucero English, who is Lincoln's Blue Jacket of the Year awardee for 2014.
"This visit allowed me to have a broadened perspective and appreciation of how important American history truly is and how it applies to our lives daily," English said. "I was provided a front-row seat to history to experience a world-wide presence at the 150th commemoration event attended by thousands was an honor to me professionally and personally -- I couldn't be more grateful."
The Sailors participated in a variety of commemorative events from the opening ceremony near the Representatives Hall of the Illinois Capitol Building, which today is the Old State Capitol State Historic Site to tours of various historical sites.
Illinois National Guard Adjutant General Daniel Krumrei served as a guest speaker during the opening ceremony on May 2. "Lincoln did not aspire to be an icon," Krumrei said. "He was a man of the people. A man for the people. A man elected by the people to do a job and was determine to succeed."
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner also spoke at the opening ceremony and remarked on Lincoln's leadership. "President Lincoln was a fearless leader whose legacy has only grown over the past 150 years. It was an honor to participate in the ceremony commemorating the death of President Lincoln, and to remember the greatest Illinoisan and one of the greatest men, this nation has ever known," Rauner said.
During their trip, the Sailors also mentored youth at the Boys & Girls Club of Central Illinois and spent quality time with children at St. John's Children's Hospital.
Additionally, Sailors met with Springfield Mayor J. Michael Houston and Springfield Mayor-Elect Jim Langfelder during their visit. Houston reflected on the crew's tour of the Old State Capitol and discussed the significance of crew members standing in the exact spot where Lincoln's remains laid as thousands of mourners draped in black clothing paid their respects 150 years ago.
"As we stand in this room today, 150 years ago, Mr. Lincoln's body lied in state here in front of this podium. The population of the city of Springfield had less than 15,000, yet more than 75,000 people passed the caisson," Houston said. "If you think of the travel conditions in 1865 you can imagine the honor and the way people felt to come to Springfield, Illinois, to walk by this casket."
Houston further discussed the significance of USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors participating in the various Lincoln events, which serves to strengthen the unbreakable bond between the Land of Lincoln and the carrier that propels Lincoln's name worldwide.
"When the Abraham Lincoln Sailors return to their ship they will bring with them the spirit of Abraham Lincoln which will be more present than ever before," Houston said. "It is nice to have USS Abraham Lincoln to help us remember what Lincoln did for this great country. There is no way we will ever be able to repay you, and you are great representatives of Abraham Lincoln."
Sailors accompanied the funeral procession from the Old State Capitol to the Oak Ridge Cemetery as thousands lined the streets of Springfield to watch as the horse-drawn hearse, adorned in black, slowly made its way to its ultimate destination. Ravelo participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at Lincoln's Tomb on May 3, the culminating event in the commemoration of President Lincoln.
During the crew's visit they mentored children at the Girls & Boys Club of Central Illinois and met with children at St. John's Children Hospital. Ravelo reflected on the significance of Lincoln's devotion to education throughout his life and his crew's opportunity to engage with Springfield's youth.
"My message and take-away in life if you set your mind on succeeding as President Lincoln clearly displayed throughout his lifetime you will succeed," Ravelo said. "Failure is never an option in life, the only option is to strive to succeed"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150504-11 - Release Date: 5/4/2015 12:48:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Provides New Outlook on Ballast
As reported on 5 May 2015, “Each month, junior Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) are nominated by their chain of command to participate in a week-long training course at the Newport News Fleet and Family Support Center. The course, known as Ballast class, offers leadership training to these Sailors with a curriculum that places particular emphasis on the principle that every Sailor is a leader.
Machinery Repairman 1st Class Christian Camp, Lincoln's Ballast class coordinator, shares her views on the shifting culture of Ballast. "The term 'ballast' is defined as dispersing weight evenly throughout the hull of the ship," Camp said. "We want to base our training around this definition and want our Sailors to know they are part of a bigger picture.
They are a vital part of Lincoln's mission." Ballast offers resources such as nutrition information, financial counseling, substance abuse training, stress management, mentoring and much more. These resources are designed to help junior Sailors who may not otherwise be aware of these opportunities. "These resources offer junior Sailors many opportunities to better themselves," Camp said.
"We provide them with the tools they need to be successful." Camp says when Ballast was created it was geared towards Sailors who displayed a pattern of destructive behavior and poor decision-making. Because of this, many Sailors were apprehensive about the class and what it might mean for their careers. "When Ballast was formed, our senior leadership was looking for an innovative way to reach at-risk Sailors, but that was two years ago," Camp said.
"We are shifting the culture of this class in a different direction." Camp has a vision to graduate all junior Lincoln Sailors from the course. She believes the content will benefit everyone, especially Sailors who are new to both the command and the Navy. "It's our junior Sailors who are targeted the most by car dealerships, who tend to get in debt early, who will need help learning how to manage stress because they are new to these experiences," Camp said. "Ballast will benefit everyone.
We need to arm our Sailors with this knowledge so they make better decisions." Camp said the classes also take trips to places of historical significance and participate in community relations projects. "Many junior Sailors may not know the wealth of history Virginia has," Camp said.
"With the full support of the First Class Petty Officer Association, we want to show these Sailors the history of this place as well as instill a sense of pride through giving back to the community." Camp admits there is still some work to do in order to redefine the course. She, along with many others, is taking steps to make Ballast a positive experience. "In the beginning of every class,
I ask the group why they think they're here. Without fail, at least one or two Sailors say their chain of command sent them because they were a problem, and needed to be corrected," Camp said. "I use that time to set the record straight. They are there to become better in every way, not because they are the problem child of their departments"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150505-20 - Release Date: 5/5/2015 3:02:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln's CO Speaks at API Heritage Month Ceremony
“Capt. Ronald Ravelo, commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), the first Filipino-American to command an aircraft carrier, spoke at a Supervisor of Shipbuilding Asian-American Pacific Islander Heritage month ceremony in Newport News on 7 May 2015.
"APIs have been serving in the U.S. Navy since the early 19th century so I'm just one in a string of many firsts. I don't believe I'm any more special than any of the Americans today who command, and will command in the future, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier," Ravelo said. "This is a great accomplishment, but I want to recognize the many hard-working Sailors of API heritage that came before me."
Ravelo joined the Navy back in December of 1987. "My goal at the time was to gain my commission and become a naval pilot," Ravelo said.
Ravelo further elaborated that he is grateful for the opportunity to set the example for other Asian Americans serving in the Navy. While Ravelo is proud of his achievement, he has not forgotten those who served before him.
Ravelo assumed command of Abraham Lincoln at a unique time during the carrier's life. The ship began its Refueling Complex and Overhaul (RCOH) in March 2013, and Ravelo acknowledged the unique challenge of commanding a vessel in the shipyard.
"Right now, my primary goal is to redeliver Lincoln to the fleet in the fall of 2016. I knew before I took command it would be tough; I've had friends tell me how hard it will be," Ravelo said. "However, I have 2,700 hard-working Sailors by my side to make my job easier"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150513-12 - Release Date: 5/13/2015 12:51:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln's Nurse Achieves Doctorate in Nursing
“USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) nurse attained a significant personal milestone when he received his Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) during a commencement ceremony at Duke University on 8 May 2015. Lt. Cmdr. TaRail Vernon, a native of Asheville, was joined by his family for a ceremony that represented the culmination of two years' worth of hard work and dedication to attain his goal.
The achievement was particularly special to the Vernon family, as it was a gift of sorts that Vernon was able to provide for both his mother and his wife during Mother's Day weekend. "There is no greater feeling that a mother could have on Mother's Day than to watch her child's dreams come true," said Deborah Vernon. "I have always taught TaRail that no challenge is too great and no goal is out of his reach if he sets his mind to it and puts in the work. He has warmed my heart with joy."
Vernon began his doctoral program around the same time he checked aboard the Lincoln, and his coursework was accomplished only after he had completed his daily duties as the ship's nurse; an assignment that includes oversight of many of the shipboard health programs in effect on board the Lincoln.
Committing himself to the time and effort required to achieve this level of education was, however, an easy decision. "[Pursuing an education] is going to be hard, it is going to cost you time, it is and going to be a challenge, but in the end all of the excuses and
fears do not compare to the gratification of achieving, accomplishing and pursuing a higher education," Vernon said.
Vernon emphasized the importance of the support he received from his wife, Latasha, as well as his chain of command as factors that contributed to his completion of the doctorate program.
"I am very proud that I have accomplished this milestone not for myself but for my family, friends, peers and mentees," Vernon said. "I pray that this accomplishment serves as a symbol that anything can be accomplished with a strong support system, the will to be better than you are, to do more with what you have and to expect more from yourself."
The DNP will allow Vernon to address critical skills used to translate evidence-based care into practice, to improve systems of care, and to measure outcomes of groups of patients, populations, and communities.
Vernon's DNP was also received just days before the 107th anniversary of the birthday of the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps on May 13” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150511-18 - Release Date: 5/11/2015 3:09:00 PM - By Lt. Amelia Lawton, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, ASHEVILLE, N.C. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Officer Presents Plaque to Honor Pioneer Aviator
“Cmdr. Todd D. Tavolazzi, strike operations officer assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), presented a plaque on behalf of the Hampton Roads Navy League to Capt. Bob Clark, commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk, during a ceremony commemorating Eugene Ely at Ely Hall on 8 May 2015.
Tavolazzi and Clark were joined by Capt. Ronald Ravelo, Lincoln commanding officer and Capt. Doug Beaver, executive officer of Naval Station Norfolk as they hung the plaque, which details the significance of Ely above a statue of his likeness in the building named for him.
On Nov. 14, 1910, Ely piloted the first aircraft to take off from a ship, the USS Birmingham (CL-2) in Hampton Roads. Ely would eventually land his aircraft safely on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk.
"When I was stationed as a junior officer at a helicopter squadron at Naval Station Norfolk from 2006-2011, the squadrons used to stay in a duty room in Ely Hall," Tavolazzi said. "Every time I would pass through the lobby I would see the lonely statue of Eugene Ely with nothing to inform anyone who he was and what his significance was for the U.S. Navy, naval aviation and Naval Station Norfolk in particular."
Seeing a problem, Tavolazzi then went forward to find a solution to get Ely the recognition that he deserved.
"I happened to speak to Maryellen Baldwin of the Navy League Hampton Roads about Naval history and Eugene Ely during the centennial of Naval Aviation commemoration events in 2010 and 2011," Tavolazzi said. "I mentioned that it was a shame that there was not an explanation of how important Eugene Ely was to naval aviation in the very building named after him." Tavolazzi's efforts and teamwork with the Navy League were appreciated by Naval Station Norfolk leadership.
"This is the good stuff, the stuff we like to celebrate," Clark said. "When a Sailor notices something that needs to be changed, goes out and gets it done"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150514-17 - Release Date: 5/14/2015 3:57:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Patrick Maher, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Volunteer at Local School's Career Fair
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) volunteered at Armstrong Elementary School in Hampton during the school's annual career fair on 8 May 2015.
While there, Lincoln Sailors interacted with children of all ages. Electrician's Mate 1st Class Shaya Smith, petty officer in charge of the group, was glad to come out to support the community.
"I knew we would be educating the kids about the jobs we do while on the ship, the importance of teamwork and what can be accomplished when everyone does their job," Smith said. "It's important for the kids to get a chance to interact with the military because it allows them to ask us questions directly. I believe this type of face time is more important than them seeing it on television."
The first thing that the Sailors did was to explain their individual duties on board. Many of the children were unaware of the career potential available in the Navy. Smith saw this as a good way for the kids to broaden their knowledge about the careers available to them.
Lincoln Sailors also taught the children activities like physical training (PT) exercises, defined navy terminology and even showed them how to tie knots. Levia Stovall, principal of Armstrong Elementary School, was glad to have Lincoln Sailors support their career fair.
"It's wonderful to have Lincoln Sailors here. We have a lot of military families in our community and we love to have a military presence at our career fairs," Stovall said. "This impacts the students because a lot of them want to be in the military. They see the career potential and they hear about the great things happening and they want to serve our country."
Airman Derek Johnson, assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln, also volunteered and was happy to explain his role in the U.S. Navy. "I think the kids had a great time. They loved all the things we were doing," Johnson said. "It's awesome to be able to give back to the community in such a personal way."
Armstrong Elementary School is a national blue ribbon institution that offers children in the community more than just a general education. Children have the opportunity to learn arts. This includes visual arts, music and dance in core subject areas. The annual career fair included other branches of the military to allow students with as many career paths as possible” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150511-23 - Release Date: 5/11/2015 4:20:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Restore the Home of Navy Trailblazer
On 11 May 2015, “Several Sailors from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) during the Refueling Complex and Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding to honor the memory of one of the Navy's legends by helping rehabilitate his family's home.
The Sailors and civilian contractors collaborated and spent the day restoring damage and adding improvements to the home of the widow of Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Carl Brashear during a community relations (COMREL) project on 5 May 2015.
"This is an uplifting experience watching the military give back to my mother," said Patrick Brashear, one of Brashear's sons. "I'm just beside myself seeing everyone out here lending a hand."
The COMREL was part of an ongoing relationship between Abraham Lincoln and the family of Carl Brashear, the Navy's first African-American master deep sea diver and later the Navy's first amputee diver after losing his leg in a shipboard accident in 1966.
"We are trying to make a better place for her to live," said Damage Controlman 3rd Class Lauren Williams. "This is one way for us to give back. It feels good to be able to do that."
Volunteer work at the home of the former deep sea diver will continue until completion, allowing Sailors to continue to honor and give back to one of the Navy's great heroes.
The restoration of Mrs. Brashear's home is much like Abraham Lincoln's own restoration. Damaged or old structures must be removed and replaced with new materials to extend the life of the home.
Additionally, new features will be added to allow easier mobility for Mrs. Brashear, who is confined to a wheelchair.
"This is all volunteer work," said Allen Loree, lead contractor from Allen Loree Homes. "We had Sailors from the Eisenhower help before and now Sailors from the Lincoln are doing a great job helping out."
Lincoln Sailors assisted with replacing the siding on the home, allowing it to withstand the elements of nature for years to come and giving it an all-around new look” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150511-11 - Release Date: 5/11/2015 12:46:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Raney, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, PORTSMOUTH, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Serves as 'Chief for a Day'
As reported on 14 May 2015, “Junior enlisted Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) gain an appreciation for their chief petty officers after walking in their shoes for a day on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Lisa Crocker implemented the "Chief for a Day" program on board USS Abraham Lincoln in Weapons Department at the start of the New Year as a way to apply her leadership goals and vision for her Sailors.
"I implemented this program as a way to get to know my Sailors better," said Crocker. "I have seen that my Sailors walk away from their day by gaining a better understanding of what the chiefs do on board USS Abraham Lincoln."
Crocker added that the Sailors chosen as "Chief for the Day" are provided a rare seat to view the various production, administrative and leadership assignments being managed on a day-to-day basis.
"There are a lot of behind the scene work, and a lot of administrative assignments that I didn't know about," said Aviation Ordnanceman Airman Antonio Scales, who is assigned to Weapons Department and reflected on the general motivation received when chosen as the "Chief for the Day". "By walking in their shoes I see what they get to do in their daily tasks, see what goes on behind the scenes, and a lot of things you wouldn't have thought of."
Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Terrance Parks, who works with Crocker, believes the initiative is improving the overall morale in their department.
"From my understanding, the morale has definitely gone up because the Sailors see a little more of the big picture and it has a positive effect on them," said Parks” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150514-16 - Release Date: 5/14/2015 3:46:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Sailor Destined to Serve aboard USS Abraham Lincoln
As reported on 15 May 2015, “you could say that Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Tanyka Superville was destined to serve aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), who has had numerous connections to our 16th president and our Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Superville, who checked aboard USS Abraham Lincoln in March 2015, graduated Abraham Lincoln High School in 2006, was assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln in Recruiting Training Command in Great Lakes in 2011, and was later assigned to "Alpha barracks" better known as Abraham Lincoln barracks in 2011.
Superville, a native of Brooklyn, New York, attended Abraham Lincoln High School and reflected on the unique connection to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier which she is currently assigned. "There were a lot of people with different cultures and backgrounds who attended my school," said Superville, who said she met people from nearly every continent. "It was kind of like serving aboard USS Abraham Lincoln where I am in contact with so many people from diverse backgrounds."
The connection with USS Abraham Lincoln didn't end after high school. While attending basic training at Recruiting Training Command, Great Lakes, Illinois, Superville was assigned to "Ship 09" otherwise known as USS Abraham Lincoln.
"I thought that it was interesting and a cool coincidence to be serving aboard the training ship USS Abraham Lincoln during my basic training," said Superville.
And, the connection to Abraham Lincoln didn't end after basic training, her adventure only continued during her apprenticeship school. While attending Naval Air Technical Training Center she was assigned to "Alpha barracks" better known as Abraham Lincoln barracks.
"It was ironic to have so many connections to both Abraham Lincoln the president and USS Abraham Lincoln the aircraft carrier," said Superville, who upon graduating from her training was assigned to her follow-on command at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. Her connection to Abraham Lincoln would resurface when she received orders to USS Abraham Lincoln.
"It was too much," said Superville, who laughed at the myriad of connections to Abraham Lincoln. "I felt that it must mean I am supposed to be here at this time"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150515-15 - Release Date: 5/15/2015 1:50:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln and its Sailors in Ship-Shape
As reported on 19 May 2015, “the Navy prides itself on its dedication to physical fitness. Twice a year, Sailors across the fleet perform the Physical Readiness Test (PRT). This cycle, two Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) made sure they did their part to keep up with Navy tradition by scoring the maximum possible score on their PRT. Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class Keith Ferguson, a Charlotte, North Carolina, native, had been striving to reach this feat for the past three cycles.
"I maxed the sit-up and push-up portions before, but still needed to cut about 30 seconds off of my run," Ferguson said. "For about a month leading up to the PRT, I ran three days a week, on top of the five days I'm in the gym year-round." Boatswain's Mate Seaman Robert Adams, a Lompoc, California, native, also has a history of being in peak physical form. His preparation for the PRT begins long before the cycle does.
"I was always into fitness," Adams said. "I played three sports year-round throughout high school which led to a full-ride football scholarship to Charleston Southern University, where I got my bachelor's degree in kinesiology." Chris Jacquard, Lincoln's Fit Boss, thinks that such outstanding performances should motivate other Sailors to set similar goals. "Maxing out on the PRT is a demonstration of a Sailor's commitment to excellence in how they prepare to do their jobs on board our warship,"
Jacquard said. "This is a sign that we, as a command, are moving in the right direction in terms of combat readiness as we deliver Lincoln back to the fleet. A physically and mentally conditioned Sailor is a more effective Sailor." But, preparation for the PRT should be a year-round effort, Jacquard added. "Having a well-structured physical training program and a balanced diet are necessary to reaching fitness goals," Jacquard said.
"Sailors who strive to max out their scores should prepare well in advance with a regiment of strength, endurance and cardiovascular training." Ferguson used a combination of research and the technological tools of today to ensure his diet was up to par. "Buying a food scale has drastically changed my diet and allowed me to improve my fitness," Ferguson said. "I would recommend getting a digital food scale and logging your calories, whether it's by hand or through an app on your phone.
The resources are at your disposal; you just have to reach out and be dedicated to using them." Jacquard thinks this is a step in the right direction for Lincoln and the Navy as a whole, but everyone has to be fully committed to make these outstanding performances the norm.
"There is a direct correlation between Sailors' physical fitness levels and the success they will have performing their duties on the ship," Jacquard said. "You are only as valuable as what you contribute. Being in top shape and combat ready allows you to perform your duties at a higher level of proficiency, and therefore makes you an asset to our command"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150519-15 - Release Date: 5/19/2015 2:22:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rob Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Lean Toward Learning
As reported on 19 May 2015, “as summer approaches, many people prepare for days at the beach, playing sports, grilling out in the back yard, vacations and many things that involve relaxing and enjoying time in the sun. Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), however, are preparing to receive an education.
Lincoln Sailors are currently preparing to register for Navy College Program for Afloat Education (NCPACE) courses set to begin late in June. This is the first time NCPACE has been available since Lincoln entered its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) in 2013.
"NCPACE gives Sailors another option to receive an education while in the shipyards," said Ensign Sheena Hunt, Lincoln's education services officer (ESO). "I receive 10 to 15 emails a day asking about the program so I know the Sailors are excited to get involved and pursue their education and I'm even more excited that I can help them reach their educational goals."
NCPACE offers participating Sailors opportunities to receive education from institutions accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education. The objective of NCPACE is to provide shipboard personnel with educational opportunities comparable to those available to shore duty personnel. Tuition is funded 100 percent. Students are only responsible for the cost of textbooks and related materials.
"Part of the reason I joined the Navy was to get an education," said Airman Ryan Socha, an undesignated Sailor stationed on board Lincoln. "I wanted to be able to go to school and not rely on my parents to pay for it."
As Lincoln gets closer to the end of its RCOH, emphasis is being placed on ensuring Sailors are able to achieve personal as well as professional goals. Providing these courses is just one way Lincoln leadership is helping the Sailors achieve these goals.
"My chain of command is really supportive in allowing me to take time to register for this," Socha said. "After my duties as an undesignated airman, this takes priority."
There are two types of NCPACE courses available to Sailors, instructor led (IL) or distance learning (DL). IL courses are taught by resident instructors for ships with available berthing.
DL courses are provided to commands through CD-ROM, PDA, or IPOD. All undergraduate courses are from institutions with Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges-Navy (SOCNAV) affiliation, ensuring Sailors the opportunity to transfer credits and complete degrees. Lincoln will utilize both formats to better accommodate each Sailor's individual learning style.
"Continue to step outside the box and never stop learning," Hunt said. "Pursue the next level, the more you learn the more you can better yourself as a person and a Sailor"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150519-20 - Release Date: 5/19/2015 3:50:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Raney, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln CSADD Lends Helping Hand
“Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) volunteered with Habitat for Humanity's Restore in Newport News, Virginia on 18 May 2015.
The Sailors, members of Lincoln's Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) chapter, helped clean and rearrange items both inside and outside the store.
CSADD's mission is to provide military members of all branches with the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with the issues of drinking, reckless driving, and other destructive decisions while maintaining good order and discipline.
Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Samantha Thomas, a member of Lincoln's CSADD program, sees it as a constructive outlet for Sailors.
"CSADD is mostly for junior Sailors looking for a way to stay positive," Thomas said. "It's peers helping peers, networking with one another and reaching out to the community, putting smiles on peoples' faces."
Other Sailors were also eager to get their hands dirty. Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Jerell Purdie, also a member of Lincoln's CSADD, jumped at the opportunity to join such a positive command organization.
"A few peers I knew who were part of CSADD asked me to join, and I didn't even really think twice about it," said Purdie. "The things we do, not only to help out the community but also the morale of the ship, it helps me become a better Sailor and a better person all around"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150526-17 - Release Date: 5/26/2015 1:58:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Rob Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln CPO 365 Helps Maintain Naval History
“Chief petty officers and first class petty officers from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) cleaned spaces aboard the Iowa-class Battleship USS Wisconsin (BB-64) in Norfolk, Va. on 20 May 2015, as part of a CPO 365 community relations event.
Lincoln Sailors have adopted four spaces aboard Wisconsin and are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and habitability of those spaces. The chiefs and first class petty officers visit Wisconsin monthly as part of the CPO 365 program.
"In addition to maintaining general cleanliness we plan to bring our spaces to life and make them look as realistic as possible for the tourists and families that visit," said Chief Information Systems Technician Arial Anderson, the CPO 365 event coordinator.
Wisconsin was first commissioned into naval service April 16, 1944 and since then has been re-commissioned twice and decommissioned three times. Since Dec. 7, 2000, the battleship has been docked next to the Nauticus museum in Norfolk. "The Wisconsin shows people who aren't in the Navy a window into what we do, how we live and operate," said Aviation Electrician 1st Class Mike Shipley.
"Everything on a ship should be clean, tidy and purpose driven and it seems like the Wisconsin illustrates that well." In 2006, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, requiring that the battleships USS Wisconsin and USS Iowa (BB-61) be kept and maintained in a state of readiness in case their service was ever again required.
"I think helping maintain the Wisconsin is really awesome," said Shipley. "It gives Sailors a sense of heritage. Being here on the Wisconsin reminds me that even though this ship was built generations ago we are still doing the same type of duty to this day."
One of the CPO 365 primary functions is mentorship, and this community relations event in particular held a unique opportunity.
"After each rehabilitation project we receive Naval Heritage and History training from the staff members, many of whom are retired chief petty officer's and first class petty officers," Anderson said. "Naval history is an important part of the CPO 365 program because as chiefs we are expected to know and teach our Sailors naval history and integrate into daily leadership"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150526-24 - Release Date: 5/26/2015 2:54:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Derry Todd, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Nominations Sought for Bob Feller Award
“Nominations for the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award are currently being sought to recognize an exceptional chief petty officer, as well as one outstanding junior Sailor organization for the Junior Sailor Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Chapter of the year, until 22 May 2015. Established by the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation, the prominent award is named in honor of Major League Baseball pitcher, National Baseball Hall of Fame (NBHOF) inductee, and Navy veteran Bob Feller.
This unique award is intended to recognize a representative from three critical areas of Mr. Feller's life: his MLB career, his service in the Navy as a chief petty officer and his induction in the NBHOF. Accordingly, the award will be presented to one active MLB player, one chief petty officer and one member of the NBHOF. This year the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation will also recognize a group of Sailors, 18-25 years old, who have most effectively worked together as a team to promote peer-to-peer mentorship and a reduction in Sailor destructive personal decision making and behavior.
"The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award is very important because Mr. Bob Feller was once a part of us," said Ensign Sheena Hunt, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) educational services officer. "Besides being a Major League Baseball player, he served in the world's greatest Navy as a chief petty officer and fought in World War II. His leadership, bravery, honor, courage and commitment to the Navy, our country and Sailors are the very characteristics that our chief petty officers demonstrate on a daily basis. They are out on the deck plates leading, taking care of Sailors and molding them into great leaders."
In recognition of Mr. Feller's significant accomplishment in attaining the rank of chief petty officer, nominees for the chief petty officer award must be a chief petty officer (E-7 only), active or reserve, must be outstanding military professionals, and must embody the Navy's core values of honor, courage, and commitment. "I encourage departments to nominate their chiefs and Junior Sailor Chapters to show them that their hard work did not go unnoticed and that they are appreciated for what they do throughout their departments, the command, and communities," Hunt said.
Nominees for the Junior Sailor Peer-to-Peer Mentorship award must have worked effectively as a team to enhance their command's mission, Sailor, and community success in a manner consistent with the high ideals and personal example of Bob Feller.
Mr. Feller enlisted in the Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor while he was with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first American professional athlete to enlist.
He served on the battleship USS Alabama (BB-60), and while doing so, the ship fought in both World War II theaters and earned eight battle stars.
Mr. Feller was released from active duty achieving the rank of chief petty officer, and is the only chief petty officer in the Hall of Fame. Complete instructions and requirements can be found in NAVADMIN 054/15 and any questions can be directed towards Ensign Hunt” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150501-21 - Release Date: 5/1/2015 2:37:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan L. Wampler, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln's AOs Gain Rate Experience during RCOH
As reported on 1 June 2015, “Aviation ordnancemen (AO) assigned to the Weapons Department aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) recently travelled to Fallon, Nevada, to support Carrier Air Wing 7 in constructing more than 120 tons of ordnance.
With Lincoln undergoing Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH), Sailors are often asked to take on tasks outside of what they typically do while on an operational carrier. So when the opportunity arises to send Sailors on a temporary assigned duty to work in their rate, the chain of command does what it can to send their Sailors.
"This was a unique training opportunity for 12 of our Sailors to get experience doing their job outside of the shipyard," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Donnie Dowell, assigned to Lincoln's Weapons Department.
Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Derontae Crandall, who was recently designated as an AO, said he greatly benefited from this experience and has a better understanding and working knowledge of what he will be doing when the ship is re-delivered to the fleet as an operational fighting warship.
"It was exciting to work in my rate," said Crandall. "I love the people I work with and the people I work for."
For Crandall, not attending the traditional "A" school for aviation ordnancemen provided challenges going into this training opportunity. He attended a week-long school to help bring him up to speed on the different types of parts and materials used, but said that training and working with live ordnance really put everything into perspective for him. "This opportunity allowed me to see it firsthand," said Crandall.
For many young Sailors like Crandall, the experience gave them the opportunity to do the job AOs are meant to do and get some invaluable training as Lincoln prepares to return to the fleet” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150601-30 - Release Date: 6/1/2015 3:16:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, FALLON, Nev. (NNS)).
Lincoln Supply Corps Officer Selected for Competitive Internship Program
As reported on 1 June 2015, “a Supply Corps officer assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was recently selected for a highly competitive contracting internship program set to begin in December 2015.
Lt. j.g. Adalid Valenzuela, who was selected for the program at the rank of ensign, was one of twenty-two junior officers and one of four ensigns across the U.S. Navy to be hand-selected for this highly sought after internship program, the Navy Acquisition Contracting Officer (NACO)/Defense Acquisition Contracting Officer (DNACO).
"This internship will prepare me to serve better in today's Navy in this ever-changing environment to achieve our expected goals while maximizing proper utilization of our resources with a more cost-effective result," said Valenzuela, who added when he heard of his selection it was the best day of his naval career.
Cmdr. Thomas Neville, Lincoln's supply officer reflected on Valenzuela's selection to participate in the internship program.
"Selection in the Supply Corps Internship is reserved for our highest performing first tour, at sea or operational Supply Corps officers," said Neville.
Lt. Cmdr. Don Baker, Lincoln's assistant supply officer added that only the "best of the best" are selected for this program.
"Our best and brightest from the Supply Corps community are selected for these programs," said Baker.
While undergoing the training Valenzuela will learn a variety of subjects to include the following areas: acquisition management, contract administration, cost and price analysis, best value decision making, contract law, negotiation techniques, and other elective business and acquisition courses” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150601-32 - Release Date: 6/1/2015 3:28:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Frocked During Command's Safety Stand Down
As reported on 5 June 2015, “One-hundred and sixty five USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Sailors were advanced to their next pay grades during the command's safety stand down at the Hampton Convention Center, June 3. "The frocking ceremony is an acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication that the Sailors have undergone to advance, not only up in pay grade, but also in responsibility," Lincoln's Command Master Chief Lee Salas said. "Advancement is also more than just advancing a pay grade, but it is also the attainment of our Sailors' career goals." Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 2nd Class Fiacre Ncho, one of the 165 to advance, was very excited to be frocked.
"It was a huge relief, I was so excited. I was waiting for this moment, to be able to put on the rank of second class," Ncho said. "I couldn't sleep, I was thinking about it every day. When you make rank in the United States Navy you know you've done something great." Chief Aviation Machinist's Mate Anthony Richardson, who coordinated the safety stand down, discussed the importance of gathering the entire command to reflect on safety-related issues. "It is important to get the crew together to reinforce our safety efforts every six months or so," Richardson said. Guest speaker and NFL Quarterback Eric Hipple spoke with Lincoln Sailors about suicide awareness.
Hipple, who played for the Detroit Lions in the 1980s, is seen as a national advocate to prevent suicide. Hipple shared his personal story and journey battling depression. "If you need help, get treatment, don't wait," said Hipple, who has spoken with countless family members and friends of a loved one who took their own life and the shock and disbelief that is left behind. "People battling depression and thoughts of suicide tend to wear a mask which is hard to detect." Dr. Carla Knorowski, CEO, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Foundation and the first commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln retired Rear Adm.
Bill Hayden also spoke with Sailors. Knorowski and Hayden were on hand to provide each Sailor a copy of the book "Gettysburg Replies – The World Responds to Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address", courtesy of The Grainger Foundation, Inc. "Gettysburg Replies" is a collection of 101 letters written by all of the living presidents, scholars, members of Congress, teachers, students, and USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors to reflect on the writing and delivery of the Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863.
"The 101 essays starting with Gettysburg Address are thought-provoking, insightful and inspiring," Knorowski said. While addressing Lincoln Sailors Hayden asked the crowd of Sailors if they were born in 1988 when the crew was being formed during the construction of USS Abraham Lincoln. "One score and seven years ago, I assumed command of the Pre-Commissioning Unit Abraham Lincoln and we totaled about as many Sailors as were frocked today," Hayden said.
"I remember when we first went to sea and had the chance to operate all the systems we had been building for years. You will get that chance as well." Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Danian Douglas who wrote an essay that was included in "Gettysburg Replies" reflected in the journey from writing the essay to being published.
"I was deeply honored to have my essay selected for publication," said Douglas, as an immigrant to this country the Gettysburg Address symbolizes an important message to me which was written and delivered by a pivotal figure in our nation's history, he added” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150605-13 - Release Date: 6/5/2015 2:39:00 PM - By Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, HAMPTON, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailors Receive Leadership Awards
As reported on 8 June 2015, “two Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and one Sailor who recently transferred were presented leadership awards from The Stennis Center for Public Service at an award ceremony on 5 June 2015.
The Stennis Center for Public Service is a federal, legislative branch agency created by congress in 1988 to promote and strengthen public service leadership in America.
The Lincoln Sailors who were awarded for their leadership included the following: Chief Warrant Officer 4 Gregory Collins, who received the Statesman Award; Master Chief Machinist's Mate Richard Quinn, who received the Union Award, and Personnel Specialist 1st Class Mishell Brownlee, who received the Liberty Award.
"The Lincoln on Leadership awards, presented by The Stennis Center for Public Service, serves to recognize the top performing Sailors on the deckplates whose management and leadership capabilities are seen and appreciated by their peers and seniors," said Capt. Ron Ravelo, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln. "It is absolutely wonderful to take the time to recognize our top-performing Sailors who are truly leading making a difference at the deck plates with proven and appreciated results."
The recipients were presented their awards by Rex Buffington II, executive director of The Stennis Center for Public Service.
"It's a great honor for us to be able to honor them because they are so worthy and so deserving," said Buffington. "It is important to recognize them for their achievements and for them to be held up as examples for others to follow."
These Sailors have been chosen by their peers throughout the ship for their exceptional leadership and provides an opportunity to be seen by those throughout the ship as well as leaders outside of the ship.
"In many ways we see these award winners as representatives as the whole ship," said Buffington. Brownlee, one of the recipients, reflected on the honor and esteem of the award, which is peer nominated.
"I am honored to have been selected for this award," said Brownlee. "It is a blessing to receive this award and I hope that through this I am able to set a good example for my junior Sailors on what good leadership should be"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150608-25 - Release Date: 6/8/2015 4:39:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Promotes Ten Senior Chief Petty Officers
“Ten Sailors assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) were advanced to the rank of senior chief petty officer during a pinning ceremony aboard USS Wisconsin (BB-64) on 5 June 2015.
Among the newly appointed senior chiefs was Senior Chief Legalman Myron Chism. This cycle, only three chiefs of 63 eligible were promoted in the legal community.
"People get promoted for taking caring of their Sailors, and that's what this is for me," Chism said. "I took care of my Sailors and this is my investment coming back to me. It's always a humbling experience, knowing that you made a difference."
Pride within the chief's mess is renowned Navy-wide, and Lincoln's newest senior chiefs were joined by their peers in a chant of "Navy Chief, Navy Pride," during the ceremony.
Lincoln's Command Master Chief Lee Salas was happy to see the hard work from his mess come to fruition.
"Today just shows that when you work hard, you get promoted," Salas said. "People need to understand that the senior chief rank is filled with our technical experts. They're great leaders. Making senior chief is recognition of their ability to not only take care of junior Sailors, but their fellow chiefs as well."
As is tradition, each senior chief selectee was pinned by members of their families. They were then capped with their new khaki combination covers by their mentors, marking the next milestone in their careers.
Chism passed on some wisdom to those who will be next in line.
"Keep doing what you're doing," Chism said. "You have to continue to do the best at everything you do. Our chiefs are where they are for a reason, and if you continue to do what you are doing, taking care of your Sailors, your time will come"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150609-10 - Release Date: 6/9/2015 12:57:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Robert Ferrone, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NORFOLK (NNS)).
Lincoln Sailors Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
As reported on 5 June 2015, “Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) participated in a variety of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage events during May, including a heritage trip to Washington D.C., a cake-cutting ceremony and a cook-out complete with traditional food, song, and dance.
"The Navy is diverse. Every month we have heritage months to reflect and show everyone where we come from," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Carlouie Claro, assigned to Lincoln and one of the Sailors who coordinated the events. "This month is our chance to give Lincoln Sailors a piece of our paradise."
Kicking off the month-long celebration, Capt. Ron Ravelo, commanding officer of USS Abraham Lincoln, and the first Filipino commanding officer of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, spoke at the Supervisor of Shipbuilding Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage diversity event May 7. On the same day, Lincoln also held a cake-cutting ceremony aboard the Floating Accommodation Facility.
"It is an honor to remember Asian and Pacific Islanders who have come before us and to celebrate their service and sacrifice," Ravelo said.
Several Lincoln Sailors also attended a Washington D.C. heritage trip for Asian American and Pacific Islanders. The tour included a visit to the Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Museum of American History and the Freer Gallery of Art.
"I really enjoyed getting to go the Asian art exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art," Operations Specialist Seaman Apprentice Desmond Jones said. "The art was beautiful and really gave a sense of the rich Asian culture." The Asian American and Pacific Island month wrapped up on May 29 when the crew gathered for a cook-out complete with various foods, dance, and music native from the regions.
Members of the School of Creative Performing Arts, sponsored by united and Filipino organizations of Tidewater, came to the event to perform a traditional Filipino dance and then offered Lincoln Sailors a chance to participate in the ritual.
"I think it's important to get in touch with your background and discover the foundation of a culture," said Mindy Engracia Medrana, a dancer for the School of Creative performing arts for more than 11 years. "Every culture is made up of specific morals and backgrounds and has something to offer anyone"” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150605-14 - Release Date: 6/5/2015 3:02:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Derry Todd, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs,
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Abraham Lincoln Sailor Discusses Advancement Success
As reported on 8 June 2015, “Advancement in the Navy can be a challenge, a challenge that some Sailors take on full force and tackle. For one Sailor assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) she did just that and went from an E-1 to an E-6 in just four years, an accomplishment that can take six to eight years.
Machinist's Mate 1st Class Nadia Morales, assigned to the Engineering Department aboard Abraham Lincoln, accomplished this amazing feat and attributed it to a lot of hard work and dedication.
"As an engineer, there is no time for rest especially during back-to-back deployments," said Morales. "There's PMS, corrective maintenance, back-to-back watches, qualifications - all of which was an opportunity to learn, grow as a Sailor, and advance."
Morales found her motivation to join the Navy from her father, a former Marine.
"My father was my inspiration," Morales said.
With this kind of motivation and advancement speed the sky is the limit for Morales. Making E-6 in four years opens up doors to put on chief petty officer sooner than some as well as possibly making the jump from an enlisted Sailor to a chief warrant officer later on down the road.
"My mind is definitely set on becoming chief within the next year and a half," said Morales.
Not only has Morales advanced in pay grades, she has also advanced her educational pursuits. With an associate degree in Exercise Science, a Bachelor's in Business Administration, she has set her sights on her MBA.
"I enjoy the Navy and its endeavors," said Morales.
Morales reflected on setting and accomplishing goals, which has guided her through her naval career and advises other Sailors to take on more responsibility.
"I would tell them to set goals and accomplish them one at a time. There are so many opportunities within their division, department, command, and Navy at its entirety," Morales said. "Sailors are tasked only a certain amount of responsibility, but it's up to them to take on more and prove themselves. They should all be working on a pay grade ahead. Knowledge is power."
Through all of her hard work and motivation Morales will soon transfer to Naval Station Great Lakes to become a recruit division commander. This gives her the opportunity to instill the same motivation and dedication into the newly enlisted Sailors going through the Navy's only boot camp” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150608-13 - Release Date: 6/8/2015 1:19:00 PM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Lockwood, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).
Lincoln CO Speaks at Philippine Independence Day Celebration
“The USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Ravelo spoke during a ceremony held at the Philippine Cultural Center in Virginia Beach on 12 June 2015.
Ravelo, the first and only current Filipino-American commanding officer of a Navy aircraft carrier, gave remarks at a celebration commemorating the country's national holiday and to partake in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Ravelo, in attendance with his family, thanked the cultural center for the invitation to observe the traditions and pageantry presented at the ceremony, which included the presentation of a proclamation from the Virginia State Assembly and a parade of Philippine flags.
"Today's ceremony has allowed me to connect with my own Filipino heritage, as well as share this heritage with my wife and son," Ravelo said. "I look forward to returning to the cultural center and interacting with the Filipino community over the course of my two year assignment."
Festivities continued outside as the Cultural Center's color guard raised the United States and Philippine flags as national anthems were played.
Ravelo, members of the Philippine Cultural Center's council, two Virginia State Assembly delegates and Cmdr. Yvette Costales, an intelligence officer with U.S. Fleet Forces Command, then participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the back annex of the center.
Philippine Independence Day is an annual national holiday to commemorate the country's declaration of independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.
Typically, the holiday is observed with community festivals, government-sponsored activities, and educational activities for students” (Ref. Story Number: NNS150616-16 - Release Date: 6/16/2015 11:07:00 AM - By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ryan Wampler, NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS)).