|AO2 Beauchamp addresses USS NIMITZ Junior Enlisted|
USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) Junior Enlisted Association President
When I was in high school I wanted to become a police officer. They always told me, “Join the military. Get a little bit of discipline.” You know, all that good stuff. When I came into the Navy, it was rough; I really couldn’t stand it. It was just so routine and there was just so much negative input from my divisions. It was hard for me to actually take the Navy seriously. Now, six years later, I’ve taken the lessons I’ve learned and look at things differently. There’s a purpose behind everything we do in the Navy, even something as little as cleaning a head and dusting an angle iron – there’s always a purpose for it. Of course it might be repetitive and redundant, but it’s necessary.
"There’s a purpose behind everything we do in the Navy..."
My goals when I joined the Navy were to better myself and to see the world, and since I’ve been in, I’ve accomplished both of those goals. Being out at sea and just meeting new people are probably my favorite things about the Navy, I love seeing that bond we develop as a work center. Usually while we’re in port, I just want to get the work done and go home, but when we’re out to sea it’s a different story. You develop relationships that you never thought you would with people you barely talked to, and of course, pulling into ports is a lot of fun.
Of course every rate has their specific job to do, but I love being an Aviation Ordnanceman. I can’t leave AO; it’s in my blood. I mean I love coming to work and trying to figure out new things and working with new things and it’s such a broad rate. There are a lot of aspects we have to learn and I just want to keep learning. AOs have a saying, “IYAOYAS,” and that’s basically our motto. To me it’s motivation. We’re the muscle of the ship. We protect the ship and aid the troops on the ground. Being an AO Is a great feeling. We do what we have to do, as far as missions and taking down the bad guys. We’re the power.
This is my third DPIA (Docking Planned Incremental Availability), and believe me, they can definitely take a toll on you. I mean people might call me crazy but I like working in DPIA. It’s just a way to see how the ship transforms. It’s sort of like a makeover for the ship.
You’re going to have your good times and bad times (in the Navy), but I want to make life a little bit better. I’m the president of the Junior Enlisted Association. I just recently put on 2nd class petty officer after being a 3rd class for awhile, and I’ve just seen a lot of things I think I can improve. I hear so many ideas and what I see happening is that we get ideas on the table but there’s no outcome, no solution to any problems. It doesn’t matter what rank you are, E-!, E-2, or E-3 if you have a great idea I definitely want to make it a possibility and get things out there it’s my and the rest of the JEA cabinet’s job to put it into action. I want to get members and more ideas on the table and make this more of a better place. The junior Sailors are the manpower – we’re the people who make the Nimitz. This is our ship.
Looking back, it’s shocking to see how fast I developed into the person I am today. When I was an Airman I just didn’t care. I thought I was getting out after my four years. Now my wife and I have two kids and are expecting our third in March. I definitely want to advance and become a LDO (Limited Duty Officer) so I can continue in my rate. My career has been a big reality check.