USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMNAVAIRPAC) recognized a fireman aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as "Engineer of the Quarter" May 30.
Hull Technician Fireman (SW/AW) Derrick Young was selected as the top engineer from all the Pacific conventional and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
Young, a member of Ronald Reagan's repair division, said that he was really astonished that he was picked for the award.
"They [chain of command] filled out my package so long ago, that I forgot that I was still even up for the award," said Young, a San Rafael, Calif., native. "The results didn't come out to us for so long that I just assumed I didn't get it. Then one day they told me at quarters, and I was shocked."
Senior Chief Hull Technician (SW/AW) DJ Brandt, repair division's leading chief petty officer, said that Young's hard work and positive attitude is what earned him this award.
"Fireman Young is willing to take on any task that he is given" said Brandt. "He has every qualification that he is required to have, plus qualifications that senior petty officers would have. He has great military bearing and an awesome attitude. He is the perfect fireman!"
Brandt added that Young's skills haven't only helped Ronald Reagan, but have also assisted other ships in maintaining operational readiness. While Ronald Reagan and Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 7 were performing operations in support of the global war on terrorism and maritime security operations the Persian Gulf, Young helped restore water-making capabilities to an Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer.
"I think it's pretty cool that I was able to fix something that was so vital to operations," said Young. "I'm not sure why they picked me to fix it. I thought that there were more qualified people in our shop. I guess that they just had faith in me."
Young, who has been the Navy for three years, added that it was the help of his entire division that allowed him to get this award.
"I never did anything with welding before I came into the Navy," Young said. "I learned most of what I know for the people that I work with. Also, my LPO [leading petty officer] really pushed me to get all of my qualifications and helped me with my warfare pins."
Young has earned Ronald Reagan's Engineering Department's Blue Jacket of the Quarter, along with other shipboard awards. According to Brandt, it's not just his qualifications or awards that make this Sailor special.
"Young's overall work ethic is outstanding," said Brandt. "He is always working on jobs that need to get done, or working on qualifications that he doesn't have. He may be a fireman, but he performs at a senior petty officer second class level."
For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn76/.