5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS (NNS) -- Sailors embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) took a break from normal operations to enjoy a leisurely
Morale Day, May 28.
Events included a steel beach picnic, exercise on the flight deck, a live musical performance and other features to reward Sailors for their hard work in supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
The day began early at the break of dawn when the flight deck was opened for PT, which included an intense fitness routine known as "The Murph."
"The Murph is a Crossfit hero workout created in memory of LT Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who died in Operation Red Wings," said Justin Vigil, GHWB's Fit Boss. "It consists of a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run. It's done every year on Memorial Day to honor the memory of those who served. It's supposed to hurt so we can feel just a fraction of what they endured during their service."
After the workout concluded, the flight deck was set up for games such as cornhole and soccer, as well as a massive barbeque that served steak, burgers and hotdogs among other things.
"I came up here to eat and play cornhole," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Joshua Coley. "I'm happy the ship can have a day to itself. It's about everybody who's worked so hard."
Other Sailors simply lounged in the sun and enjoyed the fresh air after weeks and months working long hours below decks.
"It's nice to get out of the galley and come out to soak up some sun and enjoy the breeze," said Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Desirae Villalobos.
One pair of officers used the leisure day as an opportunity to dress up as the characters they have been nicknamed after by their shipmates around the deckplates, making their costumes out of modified uniform pieces.
"People started calling us Mario and Luigi pretty much the second deployment began," said Lt. j.g. Eric Paul. "So we decided to own it and put on these costumes for today."
Paul's costumed compatriot, Lt. j.g. Scott Smith, added that it was their moustaches that earned them their video game-based nicknames.
"Everyone said we look like Mario and Luigi," said Smith. "So the CO, XO, CMC, everyone approved of us doing this."
GHWB's Command Master Chief Huben Phillips challenged the ship's executive officer (XO) Capt. Gavin "Deedle" Duff to a dance performance in honor of his soon-to-be departure from GHWB.
"This is XO's last steel beach picnic aboard this ship," said Phillips. "So we wanted to make it special for him. I wanted the XO to show us his moves."
Some junior Sailors led the Big XO in some hip-hop dance moves as Sailors from all ranks and divisions eagerly gathered around to watch. Afterward, Duff expressed his pleasure with the general success of the morale day.
"I'm just thrilled that everyone is having fun," said Duff. "The weather is perfect, supply has performed beautifully, it's just a huge success."
Phillips similarly expressed his joy at the fun his Sailors were having after so many hours of long and tiring work.
"This is the best steel beach picnic ever," said Philips. "I'm so glad the crew got a chance to let their hair down and enjoy each other's company."
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