A Bronx native and Herbert H. Lehman graduate, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason. Petty Officer 2nd Class Katherine Aponte is a culinary specialist aboard the destroyer operating out of the Navy’s largest base. A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for the overall production of food on the ship.
“The best part about being in the Navy is the teamwork, diversity and caring about my shipmates,” Aponte said.
More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials. Navy guided-missile destroyers like USS Mason are multi-mission ships that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. They are equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.
“Being at this command has made me more patient and it has increased my knowledge of diversity,” said Aponte.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Aponte and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“The best part of being part of this command is the people I’ve become a family with,” Aponte said.
Chief Petty Officer Marco Caban is a logistics specialist aboard the destroyer operating out of the Navy’s largest base. A Navy logistics specialist is responsible for procuring and tracking supplies for the command.
“Growing up in a very diverse neighborhood, like the Bronx, carries over well to working on a ship as diverse as the Mason,” Caban said.
“The Navy has helped me grow as a leader by being more accountable for my actions, as well as those of others,” said Caban.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Caban and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“The USS Mason is a relatively small command,” Caban said. “What I do here can create a greater impact.”