Joshua Aziz was there alongside his shipmates during the Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH), helping to meet or exceed the 50-year lifespan expected of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.
He was there as a first responder to the tragic 2010 Haiti earthquake, contributing to the relief effort as the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) played a vital role in Operation Unified Response.
He was there as the aircraft carrier made her historic voyage during Southern Seas 2010, transiting around South America during the ship’s change of homeport.
He deployed twice in a span of 18 months, to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.
During his five-year journey in the U. S. Navy and aboard the Vinson, Interior Communications Technician 2nd Class (SW/AW) Aziz has seen his ship honored with a visit by the commander in chief, watched a college basketball game on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier he works aboard, and experienced the different cultures and countries of Brazil, Peru, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Australia.
Adding to his myriad adventures and milestones, Commanding Officer Capt. Kent D. Whalen recently named Aziz Carl Vinson’s Junior Sailor of the Year.
“I would never have seen this five years ago,” said Aziz, a mess deck master-at-arms. “This was awarded to me amongst some heavy competition. To this day, to this second, it still hasn’t hit me yet. It means a lot; it really does.”
The JSOY award recognizes and rewards the performance and dedication of outstanding enlisted Sailors.
“[Aziz] is involved,” said Chief Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AW) Edward Kelly, supply department’s S-2 division leading chief petty officer. “He goes above and beyond in his work and in his collateral duties – much more than what’s expected, and he takes on a lot of [extra duties].”
Aziz actively participates as a board member in both the Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist (ESWS) and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist (EAWS) programs and is the president of the Second Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA).
“It’s a daily thing for me,” Aziz explained. “I come to work and I’m always trying to just find a way to impact somebody. I really try to develop men and women to the best of my abilities. The sailor will come, and the good worker will come, but if they’re great men and women first, responsible and active members of society, then, no matter what walk of life they choose, they are going to succeed. That’s what I want to develop. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
“As a sailor, he is probably one of the best I know,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Airman Patrick Hawkins, who worked with Aziz on the mess decks for more than four months. “He always puts us before himself. He’s always looking out for the next person. If we have something going on, he’s the first person that we go to.”
He’s a great role model for the command, said Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman (AW/SW) Rosalind E. Samuels, aircraft intermediate maintenance department’s production control leading chief petty officer and SCPOA sponsor.
“A lot of people look up to him because he does so much,” Samuels said. “He takes pride in everything that he does – pride in his job, his uniform and even whatever is going on at home. He’s a leader and a motivator.”
Aziz is deeply committed to helping the ESWS and EAWS programs, scheduling walkthroughs, conducting training and helping sailors complete their personnel qualification standards, Samuels said.
“He has been a strong backbone for both of those programs,” she added, “making sure sailors got whatever they needed.”
Qualifications are so important, Aziz said. They enable the development of better sailors and shipmates and that’s great for the command.
Aziz puts the same energy, professionalism and passion he commits to his collateral duties into his assignment as mess deck master-at-arms, Kelly said. He ensures all stations and watches in the scullery are manned and the overall operation of the mess decks is proficient.
“He doesn’t wait for problems to be brought to his attention,” Kelly explained. “He’s always seeking out discrepancies and has creative ways of solving them. [Plus], he spends a lot of his off-time accomplishing what he needs to get done.”
“Despite the hard work – or, rather, along with it – I would never have won this award without the help of so many other people,” Aziz said. “There has been true progression within myself, but a lot of it is due to my peers and my countless mentors and sponsors who have just been there for me during the many different facets of my career.”
“This entire command, as long as I’ve been here, [has] really helped me progress and mature to where I’m at today,” Aziz added. “Those chiefs, those first classes, second classes and thirds – their influence, their hard work, their time and their dedication are what you see today. It’s really a product of them.”
It’s that standard that Aziz is striving to replicate as he advances through the Navy.
“Every single day you have to be the example,” Aziz said. “[You have] to try to consistently be positive and answer the questions asked of you. If you try to develop a consistent passion to help each other, we are going to progress as a ship, progress as a command, as a Navy and as a society.”
Though he may not see it, Aziz’s peers, mentors and chain of command believe he already exhibits the qualities he respects in his leadership, impacting the entire command positively.
“He really deserved this award,” Samuels said. “He’s done a lot for this command overall. He is a comprehensive sailor. It’s not only that his division knows, but his department and departments around the ship know. He’s a bright, bright light for this command.”
– From a Navy release via Tumblr