Escanaba native supports next generation of Naval aviators

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 2008 Vista Ridge High School, in Texas, graduate and Escanaba, Michigan, native supports the training of naval aviation personnel and air operations.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ronald Monteroso is a damage controlman serving at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. A Navy damage controlman is responsible for damage control, ship stability, firefighting, fire prevention, and CBR defense onboard naval ships. 

“We lead and instruct the crew in the methods of damage control regarding fires, floods, toxic gases, and CBR situations,” Monteroso said. “We’re the first ones in and the last ones out when the ship is in trouble.” 

Monteroso credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in both Escanaba and Leander, Texas. 

“Throughout my life as a military brat I’ve moved around a lot,” Monteroso said. “Before I joined the Navy I was living in Leander, but I learned that even people like me can change.” 

The flight training program is approximately 18 months, due to the increased complexity of today’s aircraft. Currently, Training Air Wing FOUR produces approximately 600 newly qualified aviators each year. Naval Air Station is also home to Corpus Christi Army Depot, Marine Aviation Training Support Group 22, Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi and nearly 40 other tenant commands. 

“The mission of Naval Air Station, Corpus Christi, Texas, is to provide the best possible service and facilities to our customers with pride,” said Fifi Kieschnick, public affairs officer of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. 

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea. 

Monteroso plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of National Defense Strategy. 

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.” 

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Monteroso is most proud of being selected for instant promotion from petty officer third class to second class serving onboard USS Stout, a Navy destroyer. 

“Ever since I reported onboard the ship, I did my absolute best to learn everything about my job and maintain the ship’s readiness while adapting to all the various obstacles thrown at me while having a family,” Monteroso said. “I knew the moment they called out my name I was finally doing something worthwhile. The best feeling was when I went home that day and hugged both of my sons after this great achievement.”

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Monteroso, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Monteroso is honored to carry on the family tradition. 

“My father was a staff sergeant in the Air Force working as an aerial mechanic,” Monteroso said. “Continuing this tradition means understanding the hardships and obstacles that my father had to overcome serving in the military while taking care of his family.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Monteroso and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“When I put on my uniform, I think about my kids, family and friends,” Monteroso said. “Ever since I have been in the Navy, I can’t think of anything else I would rather do in life. This is my calling.”

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