The United States Navy

11/07/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/07/2018 15:15

Norfolk Naval Shipyard Holds 105th Apprentice Graduation Ceremony

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Norfolk Naval Shipyard held its Apprentice Graduation and Awards Ceremony, Nov. 5, at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk on the 105th anniversary of NNSY's Apprentice Program.

The 184 graduates, representing 23 trades across the shipyard, completed a four-year training program which included academics, trade theory, and on-the-job experience. At the ceremony, the apprentices received a Technician Career Studies Certificate and were converted to the journeymen level of their trade.

Acting Shipyard Commander Capt. Jip Mosman spoke at the ceremony, congratulating the graduates on their accomplishment and offering advice for their future success.

'During the past four years, you effectively balanced priorities, met demands and forged lasting bonds with your classmates - all of this will serve you well in your future as a member of the high-performing team serving 'America's Shipyard,'' he said. 'You now have opportunity to develop yourself to your full potential, being confident that you are a key contributor of a high performing team. By living out our organizational values of 'Care, Ownership, Respect and Excellence,' you will solidify Norfolk Naval Shipyard's standing as the premier provider for fleet maintenance and readiness. Norfolk Naval Shipyard has been in business for more than 250 years. Now you must develop the personal leadership and resilience inside every one of you - and embark on your journey of rebuilding America's Shipyard for the next 250-plus years. For your commitment, for your dedication and for your service, I say thank you! Congratulations!'

Admiral Christopher W. Grady, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command/U.S. Naval Forces Northern Command, delivered the keynote address at the graduation ceremony.

'It's impossible to witness the work Norfolk Naval Shipyard is doing and not feel good about our country,' he said. 'It's not only because of the mind-boggling scope and pace of repairs to the world's most sophisticated and lethal instruments of military power; it's also because of the people that work there. Your vocation - your mission - creates a positive and lasting fighting difference in our ships and submarines …and most importantly, for our Sailors of the fleet who sail in them around the world.'

He added, 'It matters to your nation, because that fleet can be present where it matters, when it matters, to defend U.S. interests around the world.'

The Apprentice Program Class of 2018 Valedictorian, Ernest G. March IV, a nuclear pipe welder, was unable to attend but was recognized at the ceremony. The 24-year-old Deep Creek High School graduate finished the NNSY Apprentice program with a 3.97 GPA, which earned him an early promotion.

Salutatorian Dustin Scott, a boat builder, was also recognized at the ceremony and addressed the audience in March's absence.

'When I was asked about my motivation for doing so well at this apprenticeship, my response was, 'Why not?'' said Scott. 'I truly didn't set out to be at the top of my class, I set out to do my personal best. Our time on earth is so short, why not give our best at everything we do? Why not go the extra mile? Why not go out of your way? I urge you to choose today, how will you redeem the time you have? Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. What will you do with today?'

The program has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA), as a 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator.

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