USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)
Dishing Up Excellence: Ford Sailor Goes Above and Beyond
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kallysta Castillo
USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs
NORFOLK — Receiving the title “Blue Jacket of the Quarter,” becoming surface warfare qualified, earning a bachelor’s degree all while creating delicious meals every day may seem like too much to put on one’s plate.
This is exactly what Culinary Specialist Seaman, Trudy-Ann Allison, assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) supply department, has accomplished within the past year of her time aboard the ship.
Allison was announced as Ford’s “Blue Jacket of the Quarter,” an honor bestowed on Sailors for outstanding performance of duty and extraordinary professionalism, Sept. 29, 2020 and she said the recognition for her hard work further fuels her ambition towards achievement. She also said she hopes her peers see her success as a shared victory.
“When I first heard about my nomination it was so exciting because it showed that all my hard work was really being noticed,” said Allison. “I hope my peers know that this award is a win for all of us in the galley. It’s a representation of my team and my chain of command who has helped me so much along the way.”
From the beginning of her Navy career, Allison set her sights high when it comes to her goals and she has steadfastly worked towards turning them into reality. She entered the Navy in 2019 with the aspiration of providing structure and pride to her daughters by displaying her own hard-work ethic and enthusiastic pursuit towards excellence. In her time aboard Ford, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in theology and she said after mastering her position as a culinary specialist, commissioning to become a Navy chaplain would be a potential goal.
“I pursued a degree in theology because it’s really important for me to always do the right thing. It was very interesting to study what that actually means,” said Allison. “It’s been a very special part of my life because my devotion for my religion is how I stay positive and motivated.”
In addition to her personal achievements, Allison’s curious and outgoing nature has inspired her to seek involvement in command programs such as junior enlisted association (JEA) and gay lesbian and supporting sailors (GLASS). She said that she deeply enjoys meeting people from different backgrounds and providing encouragement to fellow Sailors in a community where everyone can be themselves.
“I absolutely recommend joining JEA because it’s such a fun way to come together and give something back to our community of Sailors. We really enjoy working behind the scenes to see everyone having a good time at all the morale events,” said Allison. “GLASS is really great too because it allows us to have fun while we build a community of support, plus it gives us the opportunity to volunteer with community outreach.”
Allison went on to explain how working as a culinary specialist has enriched her time aboard the ship because she genuinely likes to cook. She said that in her spare time, she enjoys making treats for her peers just to see them smile, and that it brightens her day to hear people compliment her cooking skills.
“When I decided to be a culinary specialist I didn’t know very much about the rate, but I jumped at the opportunity because I love cooking,” she said. “Since I’ve been on board it’s been a goal of mine to one day cook for the captain. That’s how I’ll know that my skills are top-notch.”
When it comes to advice, Allison is happy to share her outlook on how to stay motivated. She says that when pursuing your dreams, it’s important to keep an upbeat perspective because you receive what you seek to give.
“We all have bad experiences that can put us in a negative mind space sometimes, but it’s important to just keep going and stay optimistic because when you stay positive then positive things come back to you,” said Allison. “We are all a big family and we all need each other — the more everyone sees this, the better we can help each other succeed and prosper.”
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