MSC Veterans Day 2012 – Part One

This blog is the first in a series for Veterans Day, highlighting military veterans who continued their service as Department of Navy civilians at MSC.

Becky J. Yates served in the Navy for 21 years before retiring as Chief Petty Officer. During her time in uniform, she was stationed around the world and served aboard USNS Zeus, USNS Leroy Grumman, USS Kearsarge and USS Theodore Roosevelt. Yates is now MSC Norfolk’s N6 Service Execution Director. In her current role, she is responsible for the afloat and ashore IT systems command-wide, including 179 ships and all shore-based systems.

While in the Navy, I learned so many life skills that help me succeed but most importantly, to never give up on your dreams. I also learned that everyone has different skills, and as a leader, you have to pull from each person’s strong suit to make the whole team successful. 

Veterans Day is about recognizing past, present and future military members, and their families, that sacrifice their lives each day to make our country, as well as our partnering countries, safe; and protect and defend us from harm.  It also means freedom for our country.”

Sarah Burford completed four years of Navy service as a journalist before coming to MSC. During her time in uniform, she was stationed around the world and also worked with a Seabee battalion. Burford is now MSC Pacific’s Public Affairs Officer. In her current role, she serves as the primary spokesperson and communicator for MSC in the Pacific.

“The most interesting part of my job is the variety of missions that MSC ships undertake.  After years of working with the combatant side of the Navy, it is extremely interesting to work with MSC and see the logistics and scientific side of the Navy. 

I owe everything to my time in the Navy. Aside from college, my time as a Navy journalist was the single most important learning experience of my career. I learned not only the skills I need to succeed as a civilian public affairs officer, but also a knowledge base of naval operations and how the commands intersect and work together to complete missions. 

Veterans Day has always been that one day when I feel like my service really meant something and it is recognized.  While many people take Nov. 11, as a free day off from work, I use it as a way to remember my service and the service others, like my Dad, who was a Navy photographer, and inspired me to seek out a career in the Navy; and my Uncle Bud, who lost his life in WWII.”

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