USS Ronald Reagan Sailor Bikes for Hospital Corpsman Birthday

Story Number: NNS110621-09Release Date: 6/21/2011 2:10:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin B. Gray, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs

USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- A USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sailor completed a 113-mile stationary bike ride in honor of the 113th birthday of the hospital corpsman rating, June 17.

Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Andy M. Lista, a 22-year Navy veteran completed the ride in less than five hours.

Lista said he was inspired by the Marines Corps' exhibition of physical fitness during their birthday celebration in November and wanted to do something similar.

"I decided that I wanted to do something to show my pride and support for the hospital corpsman rating," said Lista. "That was the farthest I have ever ridden."

Lista, who leads more than 30 Sailors in the Medical department, made a lasting impression on his junior Sailors.

"I thought it was a great idea, and I'm glad I volunteered to help him out and support him," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class (SW) Adriana Gonzalez, who supported Lista by riding alongside him for 25 miles. "It was good, and I was glad he was doing it; it's something to be proud of."

Lista said training was very important to be able to reach his goal, so he reached out to Master Chief Electronics Technician (SW/AW) James Ritch, a spin-class instructor on board, for assistance.

"I had a lot of help and guidance from Master Chief Ritch," said Lista. "He gave me a training regimen of increasing my mileage every other day up until today."

Ritch said he was happy to help.

"He asked me for some help, and I thought his idea was awesome so I wrote a program for him to follow to build up to the mileage necessary to complete his goal," said Ritch. "We talked about his progress over the weeks while he was training. I would also see him training and give him suggestions to improve his efficiency."

The Lista said the pride he feels in his community was reflected in his effort.

"Corpsmen are always excited, eager and motivated because they are corpsmen," said Lista. "We're such a broad community; we can be on the ground with the Marines, or on board a ship in different areas. We have so much pride in being who we are."

Ritch believes the bike ride was a great way for Lista to honor his rating's birthday.

"They are a proud rating and have served valiantly for 113 years" said Ritch. "I can't wait to see what he does next year. Maybe some other hospital corpsmen can do it with him."

"I think it was a good way to show how much we appreciate what we stand for and what this day means." said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Rabeline Brown, who also supported Lista during his ride.

Lista, along with other Ronald Reagan and Carrier Air Wing 14 hospital corpsman, Sailors and Marines participated in a traditional cake-cutting ceremony to mark the rating's 113th birthday.

"Our birthday is important because the traditions we have hold true to our own standards, and allow us to stay focused in what we need to do," said Lista. "It allows us to enjoy who we are."

Ronald Reagan CSG is comprised of Ronald Reagan, guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7, which includes guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88).

Embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 includes the "Black Knights" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the "Argonauts" of VFA-147, the "Blue Diamonds" of VFA-146, the "Death Rattlers" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the "Black Eagles" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the "Cougars" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the "Providers" of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and the "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.

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