Sunday, November 02, 2008

Blue Ridge has banner year by winning Ney, promoting deserving sailors

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter D. Lawlor, USS Blue Ridge Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) (10/25/2008) -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) food services division capped off one year's worth of focus and dedication with the addition of six new chiefs to the culinary specialist rating aboard the Ney award-winning flagship.

The goals were established when Master Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Paul Marshall, leading culinary specialist for Blue Ridge, checked aboard in May 2007.

"Our goals were set high," said Marshall, who cooked up the team's award-winning recipe for success. "Our primary goal was to win the Ney award. To do so, we developed a training program that not only emphasized the art of perfecting our rate but also highlighted key points on how to take an exam."

"Once our goals were established we focused one at a time on the mission, studying and making sure all objectives were met in preparation for the Ney," said Chief Culinary Specialist (SW) Felipe Tubera. He added that the chain of command was adamant about helping their junior Sailors advance to the next pay grade by teaching in-rate knowledge book smarts as well as offering hands on know-how.

"When our troops shine, we shine"

Tubera's statement could not have been more correct for the 2008 fiscal year. The food services division was indeed shining… like a star or two on the tip of a gold-fouled anchor.

First the announcement came Feb. 6 that Blue Ridge was the 2008 Captain Edward F. Ney award winner (best large afloat platform in the fleet). In March, Marshall was promoted to master chief and in May, David Jones, Joselyn Sabas and Micheal Morgan were all promoted to senior chief culinary specialists.

"The promotions kept coming" said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Joselyn Sabas. "Five of nine second class petty officers were promoted to first class. Six of nine seamen were advanced to third class, and one third class was promoted to second class."

Sabas said the icing on the cake for the food services division in 2008 was the five first class petty officers who were promoted to chief.

"This is a true testament of hard work and dedication to the mission," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Micheal Morgan. "Hard work, a can-do spirit and a high level of energy projected daily helped us to provide a higher level of service to our crew."

Morgan believes the team's strategic ingredients to bring praise to the department through earning the Ney and promotions for his crew through intensive advancement exam preparation culminated and resulted in better service for the ship's crew.

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