ABHC Wright retires after distinguished Naval career

Published on May 31, 2018 with No Comments

Special to MiltonLocal.com

Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla. – Chief Roland Wright retired from the United States Navy on Friday, May 25, onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field following 24 years of service to the nation.

Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, Wright joined the Navy following community college, where he was working toward an electrical engineering degree. He initially considered serving in submarines but chose to make a career in aviation support.

Wright enlisted on May 9, 1994, and reported to Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois. Following boot camp, Wright became an Aviation Boatswain’s Mates (Handler) (ABH). As an ABH, he was responsible for the aviation electrical components on various aircraft or airframes.

He completed his initial training at Great Lakes, reported to the USS Boxer (LHD-4), at NAS San Diego, and after four years aboard USS Boxer in the crash and salvage work center, he completed advanced training in Pensacola, Florida.

Wright was then assigned to shore duty at NAS Lemoore in California in September, 1999, and it was there he decided for the first time to make the Navy his career.

In 2003, Wright was assigned to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) in Everett, Washington. While onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, he was responsible for helping incoming Sailors acclimate to the ship, and it was there he further developed leadership techniques that made him successful as a chief.

Concluding his time on the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2007, Wright moved overseas to NAS Sigonella in Italy. While there, he was the base fire department leading petty officer (LPO), and after three years, reported to the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Following his tour aboard USS Carl Vinson, he earned the honor of joining the Goat Locker, advancing to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Wright’s final assignment at NAS Whiting Field, Florida gave him more responsibility overseeing emergency responses to aircraft mishaps in a large airspace used for aviation training. This vital function ensures Sailors are trained and ready in the event of any aircraft mishaps.

Wright’s mentor and friend, retired Chief Larry Powels, was the guest speaker for the retirement ceremony. Powels expressed how honored he was to have gotten the call from Wright to speak about his old junior sailor.  “I was honored to be his Chief, and I’m honored to be his friend,” Powels said. Powels went on to say that, “as a leader of junior Sailors, he was the guy molding them.” Powels concluded by advising Wright that “[retiring] is not the end of a career, but a start to a new chapter.”

Wright thanked his friends and family, pointing special appreciation to his wife, for all they have done to support his career and the needs of the Navy. “To my mentors who molded me, thank you.” Wright said. “To my sailors, I had the pleasure of watching you grow. We give up birthdays, anniversaries, we give up so much. But it’s been a great ride, and I’m so thankful for the Sailors who have been a part of my life.”

Posted in Military, News

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