MSC Veterans Day 2012 – Part Two

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

Leonard Bell was a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) in the Navy from 1977 to 1986. During his time in uniform, he was stationed aboard USS Alamo (LSD 33), USS Sterett (CG 31) and USNS Pawcatuck (T-AO 108). Bell is now the Deputy Operations Officer at MSCFE in Singapore.  In his current role, he supervises a staff of 16 military and civilian personnel that operationally support an average of 47 MSC-controlled ships in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.

At MSCFE, we support ships across all of MSC’s programs. One minute I can be discussing an upcoming underway replenishment evolution and the next, answering questions about weather constraints for our high speed vessel, MV Westpac Express. There’s never a dull day here and I work with great people. I have the best MTS job in MSC, period.

My Navy SWO background makes it a lot easier for me to interface with our customers in the Fleet and it helps me better understand the customer’s requirements and constraints. Additionally, since my Merchant Marine background was as a Deck Officer, my SWO cross-training in marine engineering has helped me better understand the operational impact of engineering casualties as well as the repair process and explain that our leadership and our operational chain of command, which is critical at an overseas MSC Area Command that does not have engineers assigned. 

The most important thing I learned from the Navy is how to be a leader and take care of your people, which helps me every day as a supervisor.  

To me, Veteran’s Day is about remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It was an honor for me to serve and I was lucky to have benefited enormously from the experience, but lots of men and women never made it home. They are unquestionably heroes and I am very thankful our country, more noticeably in recent years, is recognizing that.  I also think about our current uniformed counterparts. I served during the “dark” days of the post-Vietnam era and I am continually in awe of the professionalism and dedication I see in our current Sailors across all grades. That makes it a thrill and a continued honor to serve in a civilian capacity.

Reynaldo Arcangel Macawili retired after 20 years in the Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate. He is now a Marine Transportation Specialist- Intern with MSCFE in Singapore. In his current role, he is the primary contact for specific ship’s operations and requirements.

As an Intern, I’ve had the opportunity to visit MSC and Navy commands worldwide. Getting to know all seasoned Marine Transportation Specialists, and acquire their knowledge, is important to be successful because of the different requirements, equipment and other resources needed to complete the mission.

The Navy taught me that developing and maintaining a good rapport with other departments and organizations you work with is necessary in order to complete the mission. Planning ahead and providing the correct information is key to mission accomplishment.

Veterans Day means thanking of all who served the United States of America, and not forgetting their sacrifices, or those of their families – especially those who’ve lost their loved ones.

About jfalexander