Veterans Day 2013: Part 1

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

 randallDarren Randall served in the Navy for 22 years, retiring as a Gas Turbine Systems Senior Chief.  During his time in uniform, he served aboard several different platforms, which included USS Arthur W. Radford (DD 968), USS Yellowstone (AD 41), Assault Craft Unit 4 (Landing Craft Air Cushion), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) and USS Ross (DDG 71). In those positions, Randall focused on preparing the engineering department personnel and the ship’s material and equipment assets for mission execution.  Darren is now the principal port engineer for USNS Millinocket, the third joint high-speed vessel, still under construction.

 Veterans Day is special to Darren because he recalls listening to great tales of World War II battlefield valor told to him by his great uncle Frank, who served during the D-Day invasion.  His uncle came home safely, but many men and women did not and this is one day we can set aside and show our appreciation to those who wore and continue to wear the uniform.

 Darren’s Navy experience has prepared him for his role as port engineer from day one on his first ship. “The Navy instilled discipline, team work and a sense of loyalty not common to the civilian world.” Now, “the MSC ships that I and others help maintain are the life line to the greatest Navy in the world.”

 As the PPE, he is the ship’s lifeline ashore and ensures that the ship is able to conduct any mission anytime and anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. His path to this position was not a straight line; he started his MSC career as a Management Analyst in the Strategic Planning Department.  His advice to others interested in becoming a PPE is to “find a respected mentor, write down everything they do and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

 Before coming to MSC, Frances Vorce completed 25 years of Navy service in the administrative field as a yeoman.  From 1993-1996 she served as the first command chief for the Blue Angels and was also one of the first women to earn her Service Warfare pin while aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65)Vorce - Photo

 Veterans Day is about “honoring all veterans, past and present. I especially reflect on the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – to ensure our country remains free.  I salute you and your families.” 

 Her time with the Navy opened her eyes on just how important the merchant marine played in the history of our country, including mariners who risked their lives to carry the vital supplies in several wars that sustained U.S. armed forces. 

 Frances plays an important role in serving civil service mariners and ashore employees as the Work Life/Services branch supervisor. This branch administers a wide variety of benefits and services such as the Thrift Saving Plan, health benefits, Federal Employees Group Life Insurance, and Long-Term Care programs.

 Her advice to someone looking to work in her field is straightforward.  “MSC is a great place to work, apply and come help support the fleet in keeping our seas safe and supporting global operations!”

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