A Lorain, Ohio native and 2020 Amherst High School graduate serves aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114).
Seaman Recruit Alayis Vicens is an Operations Specialist, also known as an OS, serving aboard the USS Ralph Johnson, forward deployed to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.
“I joined the navy to be the first woman in my family to join the military,” Vicens said. “I also joined to be myself. I come from a very sheltered lifestyle where I really didn’t know anything outside of Lorain, Amherst and Cleveland Ohio.
OSs serve on every ship the Navy has to offer and maintain the ship’s Combat Information Center (CIC) strategic and tactical information displays and Vicens explained why she chose her rate.
“I actually ended up taking my dad’s advice,” Vicens said. “I was watching DC (Damage Controlman) and OS and called my dad before I joined and he suggested going with OS. He thought it would be best for me and mentioned that as a sailor everyone has a firefighter background and being an OS would give me the best of both worlds.
As the ship’s long-range eye, Vicens shared the importance of his work.
“As an operations specialist, I work at CIC, which manned monitoring centers 24/7 during the trip,” Vicens said. “These CIC watches are vital to the safety of the ship. Without OS, the Navy would be blind to other ships at sea, especially at night.
Many sailors will tell you they have a great job, but Vicens explained why she loves her job.
“When you’re busy 24/7 and staying long hours watching, you really connect with the people around you,” Vicens said. “You learn so much from the people you work with, whether professionally, personally or culturally. Your division becomes your family at sea.
Everyone has their reasons for joining the army and one of Vicen’s reasons was to grow as a person and she said she has already seen a difference in herself from the short time she has spent.
“I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility since coming to this command,” Vicens said. “I joined the Navy to broaden my horizons and took on many different collateral duties, which not only increased my professional knowledge, but will also help me become a better leader.”
The USS Ralph Johnson recently transferred her homeports from Everett, Washington to Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka and, while enjoying her time in Japan, Vicens is actively considering future and what she hopes to accomplish in the navy.
“One thing I want to accomplish is I really want to leave a positive impact on future sailors,” Vicens said. “I want to be able to expand my knowledge, not only in my rhythm, but in life. I want to be the person people go to for advice, who they rely on. I want to be someone people know they can come to no matter what. I want to be able to make people smile if they’re having a bad day and help people become the best version of themselves they can be at this point in their life or career. I want to help people remember that they are human and that they matter.
In order to achieve her goals and leave a positive impact on future sailors, Vicens took the opportunity to learn from everyone around her and applies those lessons to the way she approaches her daily life.
“The people I look up to have taught me not to give up on what I want, but that it’s okay to be human,” Vicens said. “By teaching me this, they taught me to take better care of myself; to make sure I’m eating and hydrating properly and getting enough sleep. They basically gave me permission to fail, but to learn from that failure so that when I’m faced with that challenge again, I can overcome it.
Ralph Johnson is forward deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet is the largest forward deployed fleet and regularly operates and interacts with 35 maritime nations while conducting missions to preserve and protect critical regional partnerships.
|Date posted:||22.02.2022 00:55|
|Location:||YOKOSUKA, KANAGAWA, JP|
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