Senior Chief Richard A. Fernandez, US Navy

In Speaker by Joshua Hawthorn

A 20 year veteran of the US Navy, Richard is a qualified Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and Surface Warfare Specialist. Initially trained as a Culinary Specialist, Richard’s first deployment was as a Cook on the USS Frank Gable in Guam.  He then served with the Electronic Attack Squadron 142 at Air Station Whidbey Island followed by shore duty at Naval Hospital Okinawa. In 2005 he was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight (HSC-8), serving on the USS John C. Stennis in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his service with HSC-8 he volunteered for boots-on-ground service and was deployed in Besmaya, Iraq as Mayor and Contracting Officer’s representative.  In 2008 he was selected as HSC-8’s Senior Sailor of the Year.  In 2013 Richard was assigned to the USS George H.W. Bush as Food Service Division Leading Chief Petty Officer.  Along with multiple unit and campaign awards, Richard’s personal awards include the Defence Meritorious Service Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Achievement Medals.  He now coordinates all Sexual Assault Prevention Response (SAPR) activities for Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa, supervising eight Unit Victim Advocates to provide mental health, medical, legal and religious counselling to victims.