Looking back at my naval career, I've come appreciate two leading commissarymen the most. As the lead chef for the ship's galley, Commissaryman 1st Class George Rooney of the USS Cocopa (ATF 101) and Chief Commissaryman Oscar Ray of the USS Stein (DE 1065) were two men who led from the galley, not the office.
Yes it was annoying to have the boss looking over your shoulder. As a young cook, I felt that I knew it all and didn't need direct supervision. Yet these leaders showed us how they wanted the meal prepared. They worked alongside the cooks many days during our long weeks at sea. And through their example, CS1 Rooney and Chief Ray taught us how to lead cooks.
Looking back, I can now see where I developed my leadership style. I learned invaluable lessons that helped me when I stepped into leadership, first as a watch captain on board the Stein and later as the lead chef for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 17.
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