PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- “Poised, confident, and self-driven” – these are words that have been used to describe the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training’s 2019 Marine of the Year, which was announced Dec. 10.
“Yes, I agree with those terms,” Marine Staff Sgt. Lerome K. Harvey, humbly said, when told about how his leadership described him in his award package. “I am really focused on accomplishing my goals and being an inspiration to others around me.”
Harvey, a non-destructive inspection technician instructor for the Naval Air Technical Training Center, who immigrated to the U.S. in 2007 due to circumstances surrounding his childhood in St. Ann, Jamaica, eagerly carries the weight of being a source of inspiration to those around him. It drives him. It motivates him. He does it for his family members, his peers, and the Marine students he teaches at NATTC.
After graduating high school in 2010 and studying aeronautical engineering in college, Harvey, looking for career options, was attracted to the “discipline” of the Marine Corps. He began talking to a recruiter in 2012 about enlisting. He had found his calling.
“I knew from that point, that this is what I wanted to do,” Harvey said. “It just clicked.”
Like a car engine takes to fuel, Harvey uses the sense of pride and admiration from his family members, particularly his mother, to push forward and inspire others.
“She was so happy when I called her and told her I won the award,” Harvey said about his mother. “She cried; I’m her only child, so she’s really proud of me. It feels good.”
Harvey described his emotions of winning the award as “grateful,” but he won’t rest on his laurels. Seven years into a military career, Harvey has his mind set on reaching higher peaks. He plans to graduate with a degree in workforce education next fall, then he hopes to get commissioned and become a Marine pilot, flying fixed-wing aircraft.
Capt. Nate Schneider, CNATT’s commanding officer, wrote the following words in the Marine of the Year announcement regarding the nominees, “...Their individual nominations speak highly of their hard work, professionalism, and dedication to setting a superb example for the next generation of aviation maintainers.” That’s practically Harvey’s career mantra.
When asked about the message he would send to fellow Marines in his midst, both junior and senior to him, he offered a beacon of hope and inspiration, true to his character.
“I would say don’t lose sight of what you have already accomplished, and challenge yourself to achieve more,” Harvey said. “Being a Marine can be very challenging at times, but you must remain positive and stay focused. Your actions in times of adversity will prove to be an integral part of the success of the individuals around you. Your influence, your impact, that’s important to me.”
CNATT’s mission is to develop, deliver, and support aviation training necessary to meet validated Fleet requirements. Its mission aligns perfectly with MyNavy HR Pillar 1, Force Development, ensuring Sailors and Marines are equipped with the specific skills they need to do their jobs and having access to career enhancement opportunities.
CNATT also is a technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise, an organization designed to sustain required current readiness and advance future warfighting capabilities at best possible cost.
For more news from Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnatt/.