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WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 50 SEAPOWER / FEBRUARY 2014
minutes before having to start my
shift. The lifestyle also allows me a
lot of freedom to work overtime,
and I have four to six months of
vacation per year.
It’s exciting to think of everywhere I will be able to go and almost
be able to see the world. A lot of our
upcoming assignments will probably be in the Middle East, but I hope
over the years to also be able to go to
Australia and South Africa.
I think it’s pretty neat you get to
travel and go somewhere for your
job. I think it’s also neat that on top
of that, I have the off time and
money that will allow me to go to
the places that I enjoyed and want
to go back and visit.
One of the main things I will
have to adjust to is coming home
after being out at sea for a few
months. When you’re out at sea,
every day is a Monday, and when
you’re home every day is a Friday.
The problem is, your friends and
family are still living a normal routine. You are free and have the time
to do things but finding those people to do them with can be difficult
and that is a big adjustment.
You also go away for a few months
and come back and the neighbors
have moved away or things have
changed or a friend or family member may have passed away. Your life
kind of went on hold or pause when
you left, and everyone else has kind
of carried on without you.
To people thinking about joining I will say this: first, be an engineer, and, second, if you’re willing
to be away from your friends and
family for a few months each year,
Editor’s Note: MV Cape Ray began its
final sea trials in preparation for the mission to Syria on Jan. 10. According to the
Department of Defense, it was expected
to deploy to an as-yet undisclosed location in the Mediterranean Sea by the
fourth week of January with a crew of 35
civilian mariners, about 64 chemical specialists from the U.S. Army Edgewood
Chemical Biological Center in Maryland,
a security team and representatives from
U.S. European Command.
(continued from page 48)
ing, start at the bottom and work
themselves the way up. Even engineers, because then you see how
things are and see how we work on
things. Sometimes you can’t work
things by the drawing; sometimes
you just have to use your own
common sense. When you look at
it on paper, you can’t see everything, but if you worked down
here a little bit and then go up
there [to design work], you will
understand things better.
You meet all kinds of people in
here. The majority of people in
here are wonderful people to work
with. They encourage you. They
help you. And then, if you want to
do more and you want to get qual-
ified for other things, they encour-
age that to help you grow.
And being a woman, it sure has
been fantastic, too. I have the
respect of my peers because I do my
job and that’s a wonderful feeling to
know your job. If you like working
with your hands, shipbuilding is
one of the best jobs you could do.
I’m blessed with my health and
strength. One thing about working
on a carrier like this, they’ve got a
lot of steps, so they help you stay in
shape pretty much.
I’ve worked on four aircraft
carriers: Harry S. Truman, Ronald
Reagan, George H.W. Bush and now
Gerald R. Ford. When I see a carrier
at sea on the news, I feel excited. I
say to myself, ‘This is what I did.’
I’m making history, you
know. It’s exciting.
Editor’s note: Boyd was one of two shipyard workers selected to make a presentation to Susan Ford Bales, sponsor of the
Gerald R. Ford, during Nov. 9 christening
ceremonies at Newport News Shipbuilding.
Rebecca Ann Boyd
“I think that is the best way for anybody who is doing shipbuilding, start at the
bottom and work themselves the way up. Even engineers, because then you see
how things are and see how we work on things. Sometimes you can’t work things
by the drawing; sometimes you just have to use your own common sense.”
(continued from page 49)