Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), assigned to the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (Ike CSG), are ready to face a new challenge. During the next few months, the crew members will say goodbye to Mason as they transition back to civilian life.
Two of those Sailors have been accepted into NCAA Division I schools.
Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Blake Nations will depart Mason in July and attend the University of Mississippi in the fall to pursue a degree in civil engineering.
“I have a feeling of accomplishment,” Nations said. “During my six years of active duty, I have accomplished nearly all of my professional and personal goals while enlisted, and the final goal that I set for myself was to be accepted into the University of Mississippi for civil engineering. I have proven to myself and my friends that while in the Navy you can have unparalleled personal growth and accomplish any goals that you set.”
Logistic Specialist 3rd Class Steven Vaughan is also making big plans for once he becomes a civilian. Vaughan will be attending Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania.
“Getting accepted to an NCAA Division I school was an incredible feeling,” Vaughan said. “In high school, I never reached a 3.0-grade point average. I slacked off way too much, so my dreams of wrestling for some big university never seemed reachable.”
Vaughan was selected for several wrestling trials all over the country, including All-Navy Wrestling.
“After being on board USS Mason for four years, I know without a doubt I can graduate on the honor roll or even the Dean’s list,” Vaughan said. “There is only so much the civilian world can do that the Navy has not already prepared me for.”
College is a transition that the Navy promotes and encourages. The GI Bill is a key factor in enlisting civilians with the promise of financial compensation or significant assistance with college tuition and fees in return for honorable active-duty service.
Mason will say goodbye to these two Sailors with a full heart, confident they will again succeed and take the Navy standards of honor, courage and commitment wherever they go.
Ike CSG is deployed to the U.S. Fifth and Sixth fleets in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
Ike CSG includes Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10 staff, aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike), the squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON 26) staff and its ships guided-missile destroyers USS Stout (DDG 55), USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Nitze (DDG 94) and Mason, and guided-missile cruisers USS San Jacinto (CG 56) and USS Monterey (CG 61).
For more news from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn69/.
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