Ronald Reagan Crew Members Earn Accolades in Newport News

Story Number: NNS030218-03Release Date: 2/18/2003 8:03:00 PM
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By Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Equipment) 3rd Class Gavin Ashworth, PCU Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- Sailors aboard PCU Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) were honored during an awards ceremony held Feb. 6.

"A Ronald Reagan Sailor is seen as a cut above any other Sailor in the fleet," said Capt. Herman Shelanski, Ronald Reagan executive officer, during the ceremony. "Every Sailor is screened for the special honor of bringing this great warship to life. The Sailors recognized today serve as a positive example of the best-sustained superior performance, outstanding military behavior and demonstrated support for the Navy's core values during their time aboard the ship."

Awardees included Reactor Officer Capt. James Murdoch, who earned the Ronald Reagan National Pride Leadership Award. This award recognizes the crew member who best instills pride in America, Ronald Reagan and the successful completion of the mission.

Operations Specialist 1st Class (AW/SW) Brian Hollars earned the coveted titled of Ronald Reagan Sailor of the Year. His selection was based on his dedication to duty and leadership while serving aboard Reagan.

"It's a big honor," Hollars said. "I would never have gotten here without the support of my division. I'm looking forward to being a role model for other Sailors and representing this command in the Atlantic Fleet Sailor of the Year competition."

Hollars also credits his achievements to his work ethic. "Never let anything stand in your way, do the best that you can do and do it for yourself, not for the recognition."

The U.S. Atlantic Fleet Sea Sailor of the Year competition is scheduled for later this month.

Other awardees included: Chief Machinist's Mate (SW) Scott Schwegel, Chief Petty Officer of the Year; Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Robin Roth, Shipmate of the Year; Storekeeper 2nd Class David Whynot, Volunteer Servicemember of the Year; Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Charles Yommer, Petty Officer of the Year; Personnelman 2nd Class Katrina Connor, Junior Sailor of the Year; and Dentalman Ronald Gauthier, Bluejacket of the Year.

The awards were designed to recognize the best of the 2,600 Sailors currently stationed aboard the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. "USS Ronald Reagan has the best awards program in the fleet because of the superb support from the United States Navy League, Santa Barbara Council," Shelanski said.

The Santa Barbara Navy League, which has adopted the ship, has been an avid supporter of Ronald Reagan's crew. The Navy League has also been a long-time supporter of the ship's commissioning scheduled for May 10.

For related news, visit the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Navy NewsStand page at

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