Sept. 6, 2013
Vol. 2 Issue 96
Story and photos by MCSN Siobhana McEwen
he office is dark and cold. A single light hangs above a table, casting a faint and eerie glow into the room. A Sailor sits at the table, alone and afraid of what’s going to happen next. The door opens, and in walks Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Michael H. Towers, investigator aboard. Towers flips on more lights, and sits down across from the Sailor. “Relax,” says Towers. “I’m here to help you.” “There’s a common misconception out there that we’re the bad guys,” said Senior Chief Master-at-Arms Marc T. Lucas. “In reality, we’re here to help people.” Lucas and Towers make up the investigation team aboard Nimitz, along with Master-at-Arms 1st Class Oscar Perez, who is currently on a temporary assignment from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154. Together, the three men have more than 15 years of experience as investigators for the Navy.
Investigator positions are E6 billets, though occasionally an exceptional E5 Sailor can qualify. Sailors must complete a two-month ‘C’ school at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., and earn an extra Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) before becoming an investigator. “It is definitely the hardest school in the military, that I can think of,” Lucas said. “Your final test for crime scenes alone is an eight-hour test, and you can only take two hits on the whole thing.” Lucas said he learned how to investigate a variety of crimes, ranging from computer crimes and bank fraud, to undercover work and gang affiliation investigation. Though Lucas started his master-at-arms career hoping to become an investigator, Towers had a different experience. “I didn’t really want to do it,” said Towers. “About a week after I got promoted, I got thrown into it.” Continued on page 3
Sailor of the Day
Story and photo by MCSN Kole Carpenter
irman Taylor Endress, from Branby, Conn., was named Sailor of the Day Sept. 5. As primary flight control forward and aft spotter, she provided more than 1,200 hours of direct support to the air officer, guaranteeing the safe launch and recovery of more than 6,200 aircraft evolutions in support high tempo combat missions. “It feels good,” Endress said. “It’s nice to know your chain of command recognizes the things you do.” As the integrated shipboard information system operator, she effectively managed more than 300 electronic record logs to include aircraft fuel state, Commanding Officer Capt. Jeff Ruth
pilot qualification date and aircraft alert status. Her efforts aided in establishing a real-time picture of the daily flight schedule. Additionally, she coordinated the departmental United Through Reading program, devoting 16 hours assisting 32 Sailors to connect with their family members during deployment. “I care about the quality of my work,” Endress said. “That’s the most important thing. People can tell when your care. It shows.” Endress enlisted in August 2012. She recently received her enlisted aviation warfare specialist qualification, and plans to strike aviation support equipment technician.
Executive Officer Capt. John Cummings
Editor MC2 (SW) Jason Behnke
Command Master Chief CMDCM Teri McIntyre
Public Affairs Officer Lt. Cmdr. Karin Burzynski
Lead Designer MC3 (SW) George J. Penney III
Nimitz News accepts submissions in writing. All submissions are subject to review and screening. ”Nimitz News” is an authorized publication for the members of the military services and their families. Its content does not necessarily reflect the official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, or the Marine Corps and does not imply endorsement thereby.
Continued from page 1 Towers said that, as a 3rd class watchman, he worked on a drug case because the investigators on board at the time weren’t available to do the work. After that, the senior chief in the legal department told Towers’ master chief that the young Petty Officer had a ‘knack’ for the job. After that case, the rest was history. Towers got sent off to Ft. Leonard Wood about a week after putting on petty officer 2nd class. Nimitz’ investigation team said their goal isn’t as much about ‘catching the bad guy’ as it is simply getting the facts of a case together. Typically, cases originate from someone going into the office to file a complaint against another person, though a case may also originate from a claim left in the command master chief ’s suggestion box. From there, the questions begin. “There’s a lot of homework that goes into it,” Towers said. “If you come in and make a statement, I have to check the validity of that statement.” “In God we trust, but in all others we investigate,” Lucas said. Both Lucas and Towers agreed there are a lot of rumors and dishonest claims they have to sort through. That does not deter them from doing their job. “We have to root through the rumors, no matter how ridiculous they are,” Lucas said. “We’ll follow the lead until the lead tells us, ‘this is ridiculous.’ Then we’ll start back and start from scratch. We find all the facts.” After the fact-finding is done, the interviews start. “That way, when the person comes in and sits down with us, we know everything that’s occurred,” Lucas said. “So there’s no way this Sailor is going to be able to sit down in front of us and lie to us. It’s that simple.”
Finger print powder and application brush.
Though they have the skill and the means to investigate more serious crimes, most of the time investigations occur around minor situations, usually as a result of poor choices made by a Sailor. Both Lucas and Towers agree the best thing a Sailor can do if they are being investigated is to be honest. “What they don’t realize is that, when they sit in that chair and they’re next to us – we’re there to help them,” Lucas said. “They think we’re here to hem them up, but we’re not.” If a suspect is honest, and can take responsibility for their actions, most of the time the chain of command will give that Sailor an opportunity to redeem themself. The more honest a Sailor is during an investigation, the more the investigator can help him or her come out on top of the situation. Lucas said it’s the investigators job to present the facts, but an honest Sailor has the opportunity to show the chain of command who they really are. Lucas and Towers both say they have seen a number of people they have investigated go on to better themselves in a number of ways. “Are you going to let that mistake define you,” Lucas said, “Or are you going to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move forward?”
AROUND THE DECKS
NIMITZ HOLDS E-6
STORY AND PHOTO BY MC3 (SW) PHIL LADOUCEUR
ore than 140 sailors on board the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), including Sailors from embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, took the Navy-wide advancement exam for E-6 on the aft mess decks, Sept. 5. The Sailors took the exam during Nimitz’ current deployment in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Being on deployment turned out to be an advantage for some taking the exam. “It was actually easier,” said Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Melissa Corvin. “In port, there’s less motivation to study.” “I had way more time to study,” said Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Samuel Freeman. “I was spending more time on watch, so whenever I wasn’t doing anything on watch, I was studying.” Those preparing found they had a large amount of material to study. “It’s a lot of information,” said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Nathan Patrick. “But it’s all related to the job.” As far as the material on the exam, most found 4
it to be a bit different from the E-4 and E-5 exam. “It’s a lot more technical,” Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Edward Yale. “This stuff was laserfocused, stuff that I never touched as an E-4.” “There was a lot more admin questions on it,” said Freeman. “Whenever I took my E-5 exams it was just basic knowledge. This one was a lot more ‘How does paperwork get routed, who approves this, who approves that.’” Coming out of the exam, many felt confident that they had done well. “This is the first time I’ve taken the first class exam, so I don’t think I’m going to make it just out of principle, but it would be nice,” said Corvin. “I feel like I studied enough.” “I feel I did pretty good. I did the best that I could,” said Freeman. “I’ve been studying a lot, so hopefully it pans out.” For those taking the E-5 exam next week, Electronics Technician 2nd Class Zachary Bitseff offered some advice. “Like with any test, make sure you get sleep, and think about the questions before you answer,” he said.
AE1 Sherman Goodwin troubleshoots an air data test set.
AO3 Travis Jobe removes a rescue hoist cad from an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter in the hangar bay.
By MCSN Derek A. Harkins
By MC3 Chris Bartlett
SN Derick Wimbley looks through the “Big Eyes”.
By MCSN Derek A. Harkins
ABH3 Zachary Auer sits in a P-25 firefighting truck during flight operations on the flight deck.
By MCSA Kelly M. Agee
30 nel 29 Ch annel 6 Channel 7 Chan Channel 5 Channel 0800 / 2000 The Propos al 1000 / 2200 Yea r One
1200 / 0000 I Lov e You Bet h Cooper 1400 / 0200 Land of the Lost 1600 / 0400 Funny People 1800 / 0600 The Ugly Tru th
Dr ag Me to Hell
My Sist er’s Keeper Lym elife
The Un touch ables
The Tim e Tr aveler’s Wife
We ather Gir l
500 Days of Sum mer Cam ille
Ter min ator: Salvation
Bla zing Saddles
Die Ha rd
Killing the m Sof tly Identity Thief
Dia ry of a M ad Black Woma n
Run Silent, Run Deep
Bourne Leg acy
Trouble wit h the Cu rve Tak en 2
Think Lik e a M an
Safe Hav en
ON THE COVER: MA2 Michael Towers speaks with a Sailor in the investigation office.
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Published on Sep 9, 2013