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HORIZON TR’s DECK department beyond the

story and photo by MC3 (SW) Brian G. Reynolds

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t has been almost four years since the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) was in an operational status. As we complete Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) and turn our focus to rejoining the fleet, every department is shifting from a shipyard mentality to a mission-oriented mindset. Over the course of the next several months, the Rough Rider will run a series of stories exploring exactly what Sailors in those departments can expect as we become operational. “Underway! … Shift colors!” said the Boatwain’s Mate of the Watch over the carrier’s 1-MC announcement system. “Set the normal underway watch. On Deck - Officer Section four, Enlisted Section Two. Sometime in the near future, these words will become very familiar to the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Instead of an industrial environment, the Big Stick will be surrounded by blue waves and open sea. In as little as three months, life aboard TR will be much different. When the anchor is weighed and the ship finally resumes its status as a fully-operational warship, the days of the Deck department’s finest needle gunning and being drenched from head to toe in haze gray paint will – for the most part - be a distant memory. “Before I initially got to the ship, I was thinking, ‘Wow, I’m going to an aircraft carrier with 5,000 people onboard,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Drew Bartell. “The reality was that we were in the ship yard with only a few departments onboard and we were just cleaning up to make the ship look good to get out. That is nice and all, but I would have rather been going to sea. When Bartell reported aboard TR, in late 2011, going to sea was something that TR wasn’t going to do for quite a while. TR had just recently completed its dry dock period and the majority of TR’s departments were housed on a floating accommodation facility beside the ship. For the most part, TR’s Deck department spent its days scraping, grinding, needle gunning and cleaning. Not a lot has changed for TR’s Deck department up to the present point. Sailors in Deck department still spend the majority of their days preparing spaces for operational status. However, life for TR’s Deck department is about to take a sharp turn. As the ship becomes more operational, Deck will have increasingly important role. Deck department will have a hand in virtually every evolution that involves ship’s movement. Every time the ship gets underway or moors, it is Deck department’s time to shine.

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“Things are about to change drastically,” said Ens. William W. Boll, the Boatswain aboard TR. “Up to this point we’ve been grinding, needle gunning and painting. They’ve been cleaning the same spaces for too long and that’s probably what they feel they’re job is. Man, they are in for a shock – and I can’t wait!” Bartell, who volunteered for temporary assigned duty with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), knows first-hand how in-your-face deployment life really works. “An operational carrier is way different.” said Bartell. “You are actually doing your job – the job you were trained for. You’re not reworking spaces to prepare for being underway. You are already underway, you know your job and you’re going to do it.” During deployment, Deck department has a myriad of other responsibilities. They man the rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB), contributing to man overboard evolutions. They also play a major role in receiving fuel, supplies and ammunition during underway replenishments, assisting with ensuring that the ship can stay at sea for extended periods if needed. Ensuring that TR can successfully perform all of these evolutions is a focus for the near future. “We’re looking forward to getting our davits operational and receiving our first RHIB back to the ship,” said Boll. “We’ll conduct weekly training with our boats and search and rescue (SAR) swimmers. Next on line will be our fuel sending station and two cargo receiving stations. Soon after, we will be the first to operate the ship’s crane in six years.” Boll believes that once the Sailors in Deck department have the opportunity to experience the real deal, they will then look upon their occupation in a whole new light. “The motivation level around here will go through the roof as our young Sailors get the chance to operate their equipment, land aircraft, or do whatever it is that they trained to do,” said Boll. “They just need to step back and see the big picture and know that what they’re doing right now plays a big part in our success as a team.” While getting underway is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, the food for thought is on focus and motivation. There is quite a bit to prepare for. Motivation is key. This begins with the Sailors. “My Sailors motivate me,” said Boll. “When I see them getting it in and working hard to accomplish a task for the team, it makes me want to work harder for them to make sure that I’m doing my fair share. I love watching Sailors when we operate our equipment. They come alive and have this energy that lets you

know that they are excited about what they are doing.” It goes without saying that the Big Stick will not be going anywhere without its Deck department. The department is so vital to virtually every major evolution that TR will take part in that it is literally impossible for the ship to pull out of the ship yards without it. How-

ever, one day in the near future, the crew of TR will once again hear the sound of the bos’n pipe over the ship’s 1-MC announcement system, followed by a phrase that hasn’t been heard aboard TR for quite some time … “Underway! … Shift colors!”

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everyone has a

story

Marie Griffiths Seaman

S

Story by and photo MC2(SW) Austin Rooney

eaman Marie Griffiths is commonly seen walking the deckplates of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) wearing paint-covered coveralls, carrying various tools, and sporting a huge grin on her face. The good-natured Deck Department Sailor is also usually surrounded by her Shipmates, or as she calls them, her Navy family. Despite the term ‘Navy family’ being used widely within the service, Griffiths does not use it lightly. Unlike many people who take their families for granted, Griffiths spent the majority of her adult life trying to find a stable family who would accept her. Griffiths grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she was named Lora Lozada by her biological mother. At just seven years old, Griffiths got her first taste of foster care when her mother was accused of neglect. Luckily, she was returned to her mother shortly thereafter. It wasn’t until she was 13 that she, two of her brothers, one of her sisters, and her mother left the island and moved to North Carolina to get a change of scenery. “I already knew English when I got here, but it was still a culture shock,” said Griffiths. “Everything is so spread out here. In Puerto Rico I walked to school every day. I was so shocked when I found out I had to take a bus to school – I thought that was just

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I already told [my Shipmates], if they get married I want an invitation. I don’t care when or where it is, I’ll be there. If they have kids, I want to know them. They’re like brothers and sisters to me. -Seaman Marie Griffiths

in movies.” Griffiths said she decided to get away from living with her mother for a while and travelled to Delaware to live with her sister. After living there for a short amount of time, she left to live with her father in Massachusetts. After she arrived, her father got into some trouble and she ended up back in the foster care system, this time in the United States. Griffiths said she didn’t stay the “foster girl” for long, and soon a couple decided to adopt her. The night before her 18th birthday, things took a turn for the worse. Her adopted parents threw her out of the house, leaving her homeless, jobless, and without a family. “They told me I was selfish, and that I was a bad person,” said Griffiths, still unsure of exactly why her adopted family kicked her out of the house. “They told me I’d be a bad apple like the rest of my family.” Griffiths prepared to check herself back in to the foster care system, and called her old foster mom, Linda Griffiths. Upon hearing about her situation, Linda told her she wanted to adopt her permanently. “I changed my name after she became my mom,” said Griffiths. “I call her Mama Linda – she’s always been really good to me.” Griffiths said she was enjoying living with her new mother, but she knew she couldn’t stay at home forever. She wanted to go to college, but couldn’t afford to. With that on her mind, Griffiths said she entered the Navy recruiter’s office and signed up. “My biological mom was always one of those women who owed money as soon as she got it,” said Griffiths. “I never wanted to go into a bunch of debt for college, so I decided to join the military.” A few months later, in Sept. 2011, Griffiths stepped off a bus in Great Lakes, Ill., to attend boot camp. When boot camp ended, Linda showed up with all of

the other parents to congratulate her new daughter. “She was crying and hugging me and I was saying, ‘they just told me we can’t be hugging you like that – don’t make me cry,’” said Griffiths. The next step in Griffiths’ journey would take her to Newport News, Va., to report aboard TR as a deck seaman in Deck Department. While not the most desirable job on the ship, Griffiths said she took to the work and really enjoys what she does. “I do actually like the work,” said Griffiths. “For right now we just take care of the ship and get it ready to go back out to sea.” More importantly, Griffiths said she met a group of people she now considers part of her family. Griffiths said last Thanksgiving she decided not to fly home to see Linda, instead opting to spend the day cooking a dinner for her Shipmates. Griffiths said it turned out to be one of her favorite Thanksgivings. “I don’t think I’ll ever be in a department I like this much,” said Griffiths. “We’re all pretty close.” As for her biological mother, Griffiths said she has not spoken to her in almost a year. She does try to keep up with her siblings, two of whom are in the Army, and she tries to call Linda at least once a week to let her know how things are going at work. Griffiths said she doesn’t know whether she will leave the military or not when her enlistment is up, but she said she is certain she will stay in touch with her Navy family as she moves forward. “I already told them, if they get married I want an invitation. I don’t care when or where it is, I’ll be there. And if they have kids, I want to know them,” said Griffiths. “They’re like brothers and sisters to me.”

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like father, like daughter Father and daughter share Navy experience

Story and photo by MC2(SW) Rooney Where are you with your qualifications? Have you been studying for advancement?” Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Jordan Harpell, who works in USS Theodore Roosevelt’s (CVN 71) Operations Department, and her shipmates face these questions from their supervisors nearly every day at work as their list of qualifications, responsibilities and tasks steadily grows. Unlike her shipmates, when Harpell leaves work and enters her home in Chesapeake, Va., the questioning continues. Harpell does not have an average Sailor’s life; instead of living in a barracks or on the ship, she lives with her father, Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS/Master Diver) Seth Harpell, a submariner who works out of Little Creek, Va.

“I think I adjusted better for life [aboard TR] by having him as my dad,” said Jordan. “I always understood the military a little better growing up.” Since she grew up in a military family, Jordan lived in many different places around the country. As a child, Jordan said her dad was always noticeably stricter than her friend’s parents. “I think sometimes it’s a little hard for my dad to turn off ‘senior chief,’” said Jordan. “He had me waxing the decks at home before I left to boot camp.” Despite her respecting her father, Jordan said she never wanted to join the military because of the amount of time he spent away from home on deployments. “When you’re young and your dad goes off to war, and all you have is your mom, and it’s just you, it can be difficult,” said Jordan. “Things like that made me not want to join at first.” After a stint in college studying to be a neuropsychologist, Jordan said she realized she couldn’t continue her studies for financial reasons. The more she thought about the military, the more it made sense for her to join. Jordan said after graduating boot camp she was suddenly more aware of how much her dad’s position and rank meant. “He’s really well-respected in the Navy, and gets along with the people he works with,” said Jordan. “I think we bonded a lot since I joined.” Now that she lives with her father, Jordan said he pushes her to get qualified and asks her about her progress at work. She said since he earned his qualifications so long ago he doesn’t know specifics, but he pushes her to work hard and stay motivated. “I think people think because my dad’s a senior chief I get special treatment, and they look at me differently,” said Jordan. “Realistically it doesn’t make a big difference. Anything you do, it’s all about how you treat people.” Jordan’s said she has big goals for her time in the Navy, and plans to be qualified in Surface, Air, and Information Dominance Warfare before she leaves the ship. She has already started on her surface pin, been underway aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), earned many in-rate qualifications, and was put up for Rough Rider of the Quarter in her first four months on the ship. Jordan said she and her father are much closer than they used to be since she joined, and he is proud of the Sailor she has become. “He’s always really proud of me,” said Jordan. “I think the one thing I’ve always wanted is to make him proud, and now that I have that it makes the world to me.”

Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate (SS/Master Diver) Seth Harpell (right) stands with his daughter, Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Jordan Harpell (left), who is assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

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power play ABF3 Vittoro shares her love of Lacross story and photo by MC3 (SW) William McCann

“Lacrosse to me is more than just a passion or a hobby,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) (AW) 3rd Class Jamie Vittorio. “It is part of my life. It has always been a priority to me.” After joining the Navy in 2011, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (AW) 3rd Class Jamie Vittorio brought an attitude of service and dedication that followed an attitude developed from years of competing in sports. “I joined to follow in my father’s footsteps and be part of something big,” said Vittorio. “The Navy is really important to me.” Vittorio was offered the women’s lacrosse head coaching position at Menchville High School in Newport News, Va., while underway with the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77). “One day after INDOC, I googled teams in the Newport News area,” said Vittorio. “I volunteered my time to help with the girls and they quickly became my second family.” She also brings with her a talent that is unique amongst her peers, playing and coaching lacrosse. The sport brings a physical aspect to competition sport that does not get the attention that mainstream sports do, but still commands respect.

Now working as one of Air department’s “grapes” assigned to V-4 division, Vittorio spends much of her time after hours mentoring the women’s lacrosse team, the Menchville Monarchs. “My dad started teaching me since I was 7 and here I am at 20, still playing, even coaching,” said Vittorio. “Being able to teach these girls my skills is just an amazing feeling.” More than just an extracurricular activity, Vittorio emphasizes the importance of having a passion driven goal in life. “I’m a believer in never letting go of something you feel you can’t live without,” said Vittorio. “Everyone needs an escape and lacrosse is mine.” Vittorio’s goals include reenlisting, going IA, earning her criminal justice degree, and eventually become a Florida state trooper. Some of her hobbies are running 5k’s as part of TR’s run club, spending time with family, and traveling. “Lacross has definitely shaped who I am. The sport teaches you a lot about patience, aggression, timing, communication and team work. You learn so much about having to play on a team with someone you may not necessarily like, but once you step onto the field, all of that goes away, and suddenly, you become like family.”

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1)

2)

3)

photos of the month 5)

4)

1) Hull Technician Fireman Kevin Williamson grinds a metal plate to make into a flange in the sheet metal shop aboard the ship March 13. (Photo by MC2 (SW) Austin Rooney) 2) Capt. Daniel Greieco, TR’s commanding officer drives the tug boat Tug Huntington around TR at Newport News Shipbuilding. (Photo by MC3(SW) William McCann) 3) Seaman Recruit Giffords grinds a knee knocker near the foc’sle aboard the ship. (Photo by MC3(SW) Brian Reynolds)

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4) USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) sits pierside in the ship yards at Newport News Shipbuilding. (Photo by MC3(SW) William McCann) 5) Sailors from TR’s Air Department begin no-load testing with the catapults on the flight deck March 14. (Photo by MC2(SW) Austin Rooney)

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your navy in the news

Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 15 man a fighting position during their final evaluation problem before deployment. NMCB-15 is mobilized supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and is an expeditionary element of U.S. Naval Forces that act as combat engineers and support various units worldwide through national force readiness, humanitarian assistance, and building and maintaining infrastructure. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Garas/Released)

Quartermaster 1st Class Timothy Sheedy, assigned to the Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Monsoon (PC4), fires .50 caliber machine gun blanks at simulated hostile small boats during an Advanced Phase Training Exercise (APTEX). APTEX is a four-day exercise designed to stress and evaluate the U.S. Navy Patrol Coastal crew in an integrated and advanced level environment and tests the crew’s ability to complete exercise objectives, demonstrating the ship’s ability to work and communicate as a team. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Sunderman/Released) Senior Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate Christopher Perry spends time with his family aboard the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) before his departure on a deployment to the Asia-Pacific region. Freedom will demonstrate her operational capabilities and allow the Navy to evaluate crew rotation and maintenance plans. LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare or mine countermeasures. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Grandin/ Released)

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TODAY - MARCH 31

For more information, visit www.nmcrs.org

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MARCH WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

19 20 20

XO’S READINESS EXERCISE

FIRST DAY OF SPRING

25 PASSOVER BEGINS

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17

PATRICK’S 17 ST. DAY

1917, LORETTA WALSH 21 E-4 EXAMS 21 HISTORY: BECOMES FIRST FEMALE CHIEF

29 GOOD FRIDAY

WOMEN’S HISTORY

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SHAMROCK MARATHON

Across 1) The first state with a female crossword 2 governor. 2) The first woman to run for president in the US (last name only) 7) Murasaki Shikibu is 8 7 famous for publishing the world’s first _____. 9) Marie ______ is the 10 only woman to win two Nobel Prizes. 10) Which ship was the first to deploy to 12 combat with both men and women in the crew? 12) In 1782, Deborah Samson Garnnett enlisted under the name of her deceased brother, and fought in this war. Down 1) The first state to give women the right to vote. 2) In 1770, a bill proposing that women using makeup should be punished for _____ was put forward to the British Parlemint. 3) Leigh Ann Hester became the first female soldier to receive this award in Afghanistan, in 2008. 4) The first country to grant women the right to vote. 5) During World War II, the Navy set up this program so women could support the war effort. 6) What percent of the active US armed forces is made up of women? 8) Which queen ruled one of the largest empires in history?

31 EASTER 1

3 4 6

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G A Y L T W O R I ND E

BMRTRIVIA

L A W F I N I T I U T S T C L H P H O M E D I T E R R A N R A E D O N E D K E R N O G G E N E R A

crossword

E

E A N F O N P U N R L

A B F R A U D I S G K E E H

R E D U S T C W A S T E U E T S P O N S O R H P I T I V E R R D S

L

S C U P P R S

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ROUGH RIDER of the

WEEK

Operations Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW)

Christian Martinez Hometown Brooklyn, NY

Time in the Navy Two years Job Title BFTT Operator and Assistant DCPO Why were you chosen as Rough Rider of the Week? “I think I was chosen as Rough Rider of the Week because I’m a hard charger. Coming from Deck Department as one of the leading seamen, I’ve always had the motivation and skill to see the job completed correctly. I’m always willing to help others who may struggle with their tasks.”

the Chapel

is

Open!

Staff Commanding Officer Capt. Daniel Grieco Executive Officer Capt. Mark Colombo Public Affairs Officer Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Evans Media Officer Lt. j.g. Michael Larson Senior Editor MCCS (SW/AW/EXW) David Collins Editor MC2(SW) Austin Rooney Layout MC2(SW) Austin Rooney MC3(SW) Brian Reynolds

What are you goals? “Make chief and put in a warrant officer package.”

Rough Rider Contributors MC2(SW) Austin Rooney MC3(SW) Brian Reynolds MC3(SW) William McCann MCSN Buonome Chanphuang

What are your hobbies?

“Power lifting, body building, reading, and travelling.”

Command Ombudsman April Kumley cvn71ombudsman@yahoo.com

Photo by MC2 Eric Lockwood

Catholic Mass: Mon. - Fri. 1000, Sun. 0830 Lutheran Divine Service: Wed. 1200 General Protestant Service: Thurs - 1200, Sun. (TBA - Check POD) Christian Bible Study: Mon. 1130-1230

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Photo by MCSN Buonome Chanphuang

The Rough Rider is an authorized publication for the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Contents herein are not necessarily the views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. government, Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or the Commanding Officer of TR. All items for publication in the The Rough Rider must be submitted to the editor no later than three days prior to publication. Do you have a story you’d like to see in the Rough Rider? Contact the Media Department at 534-1406 or stop by 3-180-0-Q.

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