Chairman of Joint Chiefs, Celebrities Embark USS Ronald Reagan

Story Number: NNS090713-03Release Date: 7/13/2009 3:44:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Frank E. Neely

USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) embarked USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) July 13 while the ship operated in the Gulf of Oman in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

During the one-day visit, Adm. Mike Mullen, CJCS, met with Sailors in Ronald Reagan's hangar bay to express how proud he was of every Sailor's performance and said it was a privilege to be aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

"You're out here on point, putting your lives on the line, and you make a job that's inherently dangerous look easy," said Mullen. "Thank you for what you do."

The chairman also reenlisted 11 Sailors during his visit.

"This is about starting a new chapter in my life, and to have the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff reenlist me is just the icing on the cake," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Fuels) 3rd Class (AW/SW) Heather Milligan. "It's something I'll be able to look back on and think what an amazing moment it was."

This is Milligan's fourth deployment aboard Ronald Reagan, and she added that she's interested in becoming an officer.

"I feel like there's still so much I can accomplish in the Navy," said Milligan. "I love my job, and I know what I'm doing while I'm at sea is making a difference."

Additionally, several celebrities sponsored by the United Service Organizations (USO) travelled with Mullen to visit the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier including: actors Bradley Cooper and D.B. Sweeney, NFL Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, NFL running back Warrick Dunn and model and media correspondent Leeann Tweeden.

"I think it's great anytime celebrities visit the ship," said Boatswain's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Noel Barker. "Its not that often people get the opportunity to meet celebrities; that lifts the morale of the crew."

Sailors also took pictures with the celebrities and received their autographs.

"I just saw 'Wedding Crashers' with Bradley Cooper, so I wanted to meet him the most. To top it off, he was great and very genuine," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class (AW) Mercedes Ortega. "I just feel privileged because they have a busy [schedule], so for them to come out shows they really care about what we're doing here."

The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is on a routine deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations where Navy assets are focused on reassuring regional partners of the United States' commitment to security, which promotes stability and global prosperity.

For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet, visit

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Gulf of Oman.
090713-N-3659B-040 GULF OF OMAN (July 13, 2009) Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Gulf of Oman. Mullen is accompanying a USO tour featuring Hall of Fame NFL coach Don Shula, All-Pro NFL running back Warrick Dunn, actors Bradley Cooper and D.B. Sweeney and sports announcer and model Leeann Tweeden on a visit to the Central Command area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph M. Buliavac/Released)
July 13, 2009
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