Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One experience after another

By Operations Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Call, USS Nimitz (CVN 68)

This time last year I had just graduated boot camp and after a hiking trip with my wife, I was on a plane flying from North Carolina to San Diego. Not long after I arrived, Nimitz was on its way to Bremerton. During that time I was a Seaman in the Deck Department, which was cool because I was able to stand watch on the helm under instruction. It was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. 

I took control of the helm at the Washington - Oregon border. It was honestly a little intimidating since I was only supposed to be at the helm for 30 minutes, but two hours later I was still in control of the ship. It was really interesting because the water was really rough. To have the ship moving around that much was definitely not what I expected, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

I am an Operations Specialist and just recently struck out of deck department after taking the 3rd Class exam last March. As an operations specialist our main job is to monitor the movement of surface contacts as well as subsurface and air contacts underway. I don’t really know a whole lot about the rate, since I’m so new to it, but I’m looking forward to learning more. I had fun in deck and really enjoyed the people and leadership. I’m also enjoying getting to know everybody in Operations.

Right now, I’m (mess) cranking in the wardroom galley. I started out working on the barge for a couple weeks, and it’s been sort of hectic moving to the ship. Now that we have more people eating every day, the lines have been a lot longer. I help out with preparing the food, not necessarily cooking or anything, but just being right there; being the CS's (culinary specialists) right hand man. I’m kind of like a big helper – just running around wherever they need me. 

The guys I’m cranking with are some of the hardest working guys I’ve worked with on the ship, which is a very cool thing to see. I’ve definitely gained a lot of respect for the culinary specialists on the ship. They work long hours and are great at what they do. It’s interesting working in the wardroom because you get to see the officers’ personalities a little bit more than you would just walking around the ship. I’ve really enjoyed just getting to see them and getting to interact with them on a different basis – still professional, but just a different setting. 

I can’t wait to get back to operations to OI division and just really learn as much as I can and become the best operation specialist I can be. My time cranking is going to be over in December, and as soon as that’s done I’m going to get back to learning my rate.

I’ve actually really enjoyed everything I’ve done so far in my career. It’s been really cool how many experiences I’ve had and I guess that’s why I kind of joined the Navy – for an experience, well part of the reason, and I’ve definitely had that. People might not think it’s so much fun to do certain things but you just kind of have to find the enjoyment in that, work hard, and have fun at what you do.

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