Twenty-Five USS Ronald Reagan Sailors Reenlist at Arizona Memorial


Twenty-five Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) reenlisted at the USS Arizona Memorial Sept. 2 during a port visit to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The USS Arizona Memorial sits directly over the remains of the battleship USS Arizona (BB 39), where 1,102 Sailors lie entombed in the ship sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

“It’s just an absolute privilege,” said Capt. Thom Burke, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “This is a sacred place and doing a reenlistment here… there’s nothing better.”

The opportunity to reenlist at the USS Arizona Memorial was a memorable experience for each Sailor, especially those sharing the occasion with family members.

“It’s a very humbling experience to be on the Arizona Memorial and I’m also very honored to be a part of the reenlistment ceremony,” said Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Joseph Varcasia. “This is a very rare opportunity to be able to do this and I was very fortunate to be here with my family on the Arizona doing this today. I’m very grateful that they could be here.”

Varcasia’s wife, Laura, said she is proud of her husband’s service and was glad to share the opportunity with him.

“It was a real honor. It’s an honor that he’s in the military and it’s an honor that he wants to do another three years,” said Laura Varcasia. “It’s a tribute to be in such an awesome place right now. We’re going to Japan so we’re looking forward to another adventure with the military for the next three years.”

Aviation Machinist’s Mate 3rd Class Scott Blubaugh, whose family was in attendance, said he would never forget this event.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Blubaugh. “My father and grandparents came out and it meant a lot to me. This was my first reenlistment so it was really cool to have them out here to see it.”

Chief Navy Career Counselor Benjamin Salvania said it was a privilege to set up this event for the Sailors.

“We always do our best to get this set up anytime we have the opportunity to have people reenlist at a historic place like this,” said Salvania. “Besides being such a historic place, it’s good for their career also.”

The Ronald Reagan CSG is currently operating in the 3rd Fleet area of operations.

Along with the ships of the Ronald Reagan CSG, embarked CVW-14 includes the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, the “Argonauts” of VFA-147, the “Blue Diamonds” of VFA-146, the “Death Rattlers” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323, the “Black Eagles” of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the “Cougars” of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 139, the “Providers” of Carrier Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 and the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4.

Source: navy, September 7, 2011;