Supply Sailors Who Imua


The word “imua” is vital to the spirit of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) as a part of her motto, “Imua e na Koa Kai.” In the Hawaiian language, it means “go forward.” It is a call for all hands to contribute toward our shared pursuit of naval excellence. As a part of this month’s Navy Supply Corps Newsletter theme, Chung-Hoon is proud to highlight two junior enlisted Sailors who truly allow the ship to “go forward” – CSSN Ruben Roybal and LSSN Michael Lipscomb.

As a culinary specialist serving over 900 meals daily to 314 crew members, Roybal is able to handle the pressure of hungry Sailors looking for a good meal. Roybal knows it’s not enough
to simply satisfy appetites. Food is vital to a ship’s morale, and his culinary skills during three special meals and two holiday meals alleviated the ever-present stress on a warship. “He works with limited supervision and consistently strives to provide outstanding results, routinely going above and beyond to provide an excellent dining experience!” said Chief Korhy Flanary, leading culinary specialist.

CSSN Roybal prepares a fresh chicken dinner for the hungry crew of USS CHUNG-HOON (DDG 93). Photos by YN3 (SW) Latoya Dobbs

When out of the galley, Roybal continues to support the ship by providing sanitation and cleanliness for 76 S-2 spaces. One of his favorite roles as a medical training team member who teaches new stretcher bearers first aid and basic battle wound treatment to help save lives. “I love helping people improve,” Roybal said with a smile. Indeed, his motivation started with a desire to financially support himself through college, but soon became a calling to help others, making the hard work a reward in itself. “I’ve had a great time in the Navy,” he states. “It’s a great experience that I think everybody should have.”

However, Sailors are not the only ones in the Navy who need to be fed. Ships themselves have an insatiable appetite for parts and materiel to remain in fighting shape. Lipscomb devotes his best work to meeting that particular challenge every day. Not only does he provide superior inventory management to the crew, he also revamped Chung-Hoon’s entire hazardous materiel (HAZMAT) program as HAZMAT supervisor and completed 19 space preservation and 38 lagging jobs as a work center petty officer in charge during Chung-Hoon’s recent dry dock restricted availability period.

His motivation shines through every challenge and tasking. He succeeded at maintaining his self-determined standard, that “all HAZMAT would be either 100 percent on hand or on order,” through over 1,200 Planned Maintenance System checks across the command. No task is too small for him either: as boundaryman, a position often underestimated by watch standers, Lipscomb took the role in stride and made it his own. The leading assessor of our light-off assessment’s certifying firefighting drill was especially impressed, giving a particular “BZ” to the way Lipscomb took full ownership of his role.

What drove Lipscomb to strive for greatness was his search for a rewarding career and his belief that the Navy would provide it. “I’ve always had an interest in joining,” Lipscomb reminisced. After enlisting, the sense of tradition and the shared adherence to the Navy core values spurred him to push for even greater heights. “If you really want to be a Sailor, you’re going to do whatever you can to make sure you’re the go-to Sailor,” Lipscomb described.

LSSN Lipscomb takes inventory to make sure USS CHUNG-HOON is always stocked with the materiel it needs.

All of his efforts pay off in the reputation he carries throughout the command. “LSSN Lipscomb’s unwavering sense of pride and devotion to duty pushes him to excel and take on a myriad of additional taskings not typically entrusted to a junior Sailor,” LSCS Joselin Cruzdelossantos remarked. Lipscomb remains appreciative and humble toward the praise he receives. “I know what’s right and what’s required of me,” he responded, “and I want to meet and exceed it.”

Through culinary and logistics work, Chung-Hoon is always supplied with what it needs to fight. These Sailors’ impact is more than simply providing supplies when needed. Their example inspires every one of the crew members to do their best. Ultimately, that shared commitment to the naval profession is what truly allows a ship to “imua.”

November/December 2017