Fire Controlman First Class Petty Officer
Fire Controlman 1st Class Petty Officer Christopher Pickartz is a native of Warrenton, Va. His father was in the Army and his early schooling involved multiple Department of Defense schools in California, Maryland, Texas and Germany.
Pickartz graduated from high school in 1996 and attended the University of Central Arkansas on a scholarship. The following year, he returned home and began working full time in an auto parts factory to help his family and ensure his brother would attend college. He continued to work full time, attend college and graduated Cum Laude from Arkansas Tech University in 2000 and was hired as a high school history and mathematics instructor. In 2005, he left a successful coaching and teaching career at a private high school in Arkansas to join the United States Navy.
Upon completion of Recruit Training and the required FC “A” and “C” schools, Pickartz reported to Pascagoula, Miss. as a member of the commissioning crew for USS Kidd (DDG 100). Aboard Kidd, Pickartz put all that he had learned into practice and quickly went from trainee to trainer in numerous warfare areas, culminating in his attainment of the Combat Systems Coordinator and Anti-Terrorism Tactical Watch Officer qualifications. He earned awards such as USS Kidd 2010 Junior Sailor of the Quarter-1st Quarter, USS Kidd 2010 Junior Sailor of the Year, Destroyer Squadron 21 2010 Junior Sailor of the Quarter-1st Quarter and Destroyer Squadron 21 2010 Junior Sailor of the Year 2010. Kidd received three consecutive Battle “E” awards and a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and he participated in the rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen from 15 Somali pirates as part of the Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure Team during his tour.
Pickartz arrived at Afloat Training Group San Diego in 2012 and proved he was well suited for training the Fleet through his qualification as Afloat Training Specialist and Master Training Specialist by November 2013. A vocal First Class Petty Officer Association leader, he has served in both the Vice President and President roles. Pickartz was selected as Afloat Training Group San Diego 2014 Sailor of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter and ATG San Diego 2014 Sailor of the Year. He is also a full-time Master’s degree student at National University with a 3.61 GPA. In his spare time, FC1 can be found coaching and mentoring flag football, soccer, softball and basketball teams made up of the children of service members at the Murphy Canyon Youth Center.
Personal awards for Pickartz include the Navy Achievement Medal (3), Good Conduct Medal, the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and various other service and unit awards.