USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- An army sergeant from the Canadian frigate HMCS Charlottetown (FFG 339) completed his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) qualification March 31, aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Earning the ESWS pin is certainly hard work, but that did not deter Canadian Army Sgt. Colin Whyatt.
Whyatt, who has been serving in the Canadian Army for 20 years, joined the ship as a liaison officer during composite unit training in July 2007.
Whyatt explained his job deals with intelligence communications between the various coalition ships in Harry S. Truman's Strike Group.
"By the time he came back to cruise in November, he said, 'Hey I want to be able to pursue this [qualification]. What do I do?'" said Chief Cryptologic Technician [Collection] (SW/AW) Nzinga Henderson, who works in the Ship's Signals Exploitation Space with Whyatt.
One of the main reasons Whyatt decided to get his ESWS pin was to improve his understanding of the ship.
"I started getting tired of things coming on the 1MC and not knowing what was going on," he said.
Working toward an ESWS pin is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and Whyatt definitely put in the hours.
Henderson noted Whyatt studied extremely hard every day and showed quite a bit of initiative by calling and setting up individual walk-throughs to get the information and signatures he needed.
The hard work paid off when he went before his ESWS board.
"He did fantastic," said Fire Controlman Chief (SW/AW) Dustin Armstrong, one of the chiefs on Whyatt's ESWS board. "He understood what he was talking about and he expressed that at the board."
Armstrong (SW/AW) said he has participated in more than 20 ESWS boards and this is the first time he has ever seen a foreign national earn or even attempt to earn his pin.
The Canadian sergeant was proud to have qualified for his ESWS. "It's a good accomplishment, being a foreigner," said Whyatt. "I only know one guy who got it. There are maybe two of us who have it in our entire military."
Whyatt enjoyed learning about the ship.
"The best thing for me was getting to drive the ship, just to get up there and have the helm in your hand," he said. "That was pretty exciting. It was one of the best memories of the whole thing for me."
Whyatt's accomplishment impressed Harry S. Truman's Sailors.
"When you see someone from the outside take so much interest and pride in your ship and what it represents, it motivates you too," said Henderson.
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