SEA OF JAPAN (NNS) – Cmdr. Jennifer Eaton, commanding officer of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52), announced the command’s first Forward-Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) Sailors of the Year (SOY) while underway in the Sea of Japan.
“This is an historic year in Barry’s service,” said Eaton. “I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and dedication these three Sailors have put into our first forward-deployed year. They continuously set a high standard among their peers and exceed in their specific job qualifications. They embody the Navy’s core values in their day-to-day lives, on and off duty. As captain, it gives me confidence in our ability to execute any mission when we have Sailors as devoted as ours. Barry’s motto of ‘Strength and Diversity’ is alive in this year’s Sailors and I congratulate them for it.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Abraham E. Jackson, from North Charleston, S.C., is Barry’s SOY. Petty Officer 3rd Class D'Angelo M. Chism, from Little Rock, Ark., is the Junior SOY (JSOY) and Seaman Raeleen D. Rosales, from Realto, Calif., is the Blue Jacket of the Year (BJOY).
“I joined the Navy to test my limits and expand my knowledge,” said Jackson, who has served 14 years in the Navy, the last two and a half aboard Barry. “I was shocked to receive this award. I always tell my shipmates to trust in their abilities and put forth your best effort in everything. I’m honored to represent this ship especially in this historic first year forward-deployed. The tempo is not easy but it’s a great opportunity to show what we are really made of.”
Jackson supervises and trains 65 personnel in the daily operation of the ship’s engineering plant. His team is responsible for maintaining the ship’s propulsion and auxiliary components, keeping the ship running smoothly through the water.
Petty Officer Chism works as a quartermaster, aiding in the safe navigation of the ship. He also leads as President of the Junior Enlisted Association (JEA) aboard Barry, getting the newest Sailors involved and acquainted with life in the Navy.
“This award is an honor to me but also a great responsibility,” said Chism. “I see this as a call to be more of a role model in all that I do. Being forward-deployed can be a challenge, just as my decision to join was, but at the end of the day, it’s a rewarding challenge knowing what I do matters.”
As a sonar technician, Seaman Rosales maintains and operates advanced electronic equipment that acts as the ship’s eyes and ears in the water. Previously stationed aboard USS Lassen (DDG 82), she transferred to Barry at the start of the year as Barry made its way from Norfolk, Va., to Yokosuka, Japan.
“I’m grateful for the chance to continue serving overseas aboard Barry,” said Rosales. “Serving in the Navy means a lot to me since I’m the first in my family to make this commitment. I can say that I’m a part of something bigger than what I thought I’d do back home, and I can do this while serving my country. It also provides me an experience that not many people can do.”
“I feel honored that I was even considered to compete for BJOY”, continued Rosales. “I’m thankful that I have a chain of command that sees value in me and encourages me for such an award. I thank my parents for teaching me a work ethic that I have been able to use in the Navy and has been recognized on the ship.”
Barry, a new addition to the U.S. 7th Fleet, arrived in Yokosuka, Japan earlier this year to replace guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82). In the ship’s first patrol as a forward-deployed unit, the crew has learned firsthand the demands of operating in the area.
Commissioned in 1992, Barry is the oldest Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. She is the fourth ship named after the "Father of the American Navy," Commodore John Barry. Barry is on patrol with Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) in the Sea of Japan supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.