NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- In commemoration of the Battle of Midway’s 65th anniversary, retired Lt. Cmdr. Otis Kight, a survivor from USS Yorktown (CV 5) during the Battle of Midway, addressed USS Carl Vinson’s (CVN 70) crew members June 28, at a special ceremony held on the ship.
Kight was all smiles during his speech, giving advice to Carl Vinson’s attentive Sailors, both young and old.
Quoting the best advice given to him, Kight said, “You are the most important person in this command. If you weren’t, then you would not even be here.”
“One of MCPON’s guiding principles is heritage,” said Machinist's Mate Master Chief (AW/SW) Calvin Watson Jr., executive assistant to Command Master Chief (AW/SW) Glenn Mallo. “There’s no better way to learn about our Navy than to bring in somebody who played a role in such an important event as Midway.”
In addition to sharing words of wisdom and experience during the celebration, Kight compared teamwork to a 'domino effect.’
“You and me, we’re all dominoes,” said Kight. “Every single thing we do will have an absolute effect on somebody down the road. Maybe not for one, two, or five years, but it will happen.”
“Always be prepared,” Kight continued. “Don’t only know your own job inside and out, but know your shipmates’ jobs as well. I do two things every day. First, I wake up and make sure that I’m alive. Second, I remind myself where all the fire extinguishers and exits are located.”
Kight spent 30 years in the Navy and experienced the sinking of Yorktown, being shot down over foreign seas, and fighting fire aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59).
Kight's visit highlighted the prominent role aircraft carrier Sailors played in naval battles during World War II.
In his closing comments, Kight spoke of his confidence in not only where the Navy has been, but where it is going.
“I’m favorably impressed with today’s standards,” Kight said. “Today’s Sailor requires so much more knowledge to complete their job than we ever did, back in the day.”
TO honor Kight, Lt. Cmdr. Paul Shields, assistant supply officer and president of Carl Vinson's Mustang Association, presented him with a ship’s coin, a Carl Vinson photo album, a wood carrier-shaped plaque, and also named Kight an honorary Carl Vinson Mustang.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson’s nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship’s services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare her for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.