EAST CHINA SEA
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Stack
Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron 15
Petty Officer 1st Class Bennett Evans, a Rutherfordton, N.C. native and 2010 R.S. Central High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Dewey (DDG 105) as a Culinary Specialist (CS).
Culinary Specialists drive the morale of the ship through providing food and service for the crew. They manage food preparation, trash collection, and provide hotel services to the crew.
Evans joined the Navy to become a Mineman. However, after arriving at boot camp, Evans found out he was colorblind. He was re-rated as a CS, with no regrets.
“I love being a CS because it’s great opportunity to meet lots of people,” said Evans. “Everyone comes through the mess line, and at a certain point almost everyone comes to work in the Food Service Division. It’s a great way to know everyone on a personal level.”
Shortly after his arrival to the Dewey, Petty Officer Evans took up senior responsibility as the Leading Chief Petty Officer in the Food Service Division. Destroyer platforms typically have 30 food services members, to serve over 300 Sailors.
“It is a challenge for sure,” said Evans. “Half of my division is temporarily assigned and I receive an entirely new crew every 90 days. You have to tailor your leadership strategy for different Sailors, everyone isn’t receptive to the same method. Learning to train, how they best benefit the team, and leading is crucial to success.” Evans constantly re-affirmed himself that his Sailors are depending on him for leadership.
Petty Officer Evans has hosted 15 steel beech picnics so far aboard the Dewey, involving the junior enlisted, second-class, first class, chief’s mess, and wardroom. Evans has also taken responsibility by running the first-class association, command fitness program, and command urinalysis program.
Evans has received four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award (NEY), the Navy’s highest honor for food service operations, and one Flag Letter of Commendation during his eight years in the Navy so far.
Dewey is assigned to Commander, Task Force (CTF) 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
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