By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bobby J Siens, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Public Affairs
ARABIAN GULF – Aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN 75) Commanding Officer Capt. Ryan B. Scholl announced Aviation Support Equipment Technician 2nd Class Donterrius Walker as Truman’s Petty Officer of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2016, Feb. 29.
“It made me feel appreciated and I’m very thankful,” said Walker. “Awards like this bring you back down to earth and make you take everything into perspective. It opens your eyes to see how much people appreciate you for the things you do.”
Walker, originally from Pelham, Ga., has been in the Navy for ten-and-a-half years and assigned to Truman’s Aviation Intermediate Maintenance department for the last year-and-a-half. He earned his Enlisted Aviation and Surface Warfare Specialist qualifications during a six-month deployment aboard amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) in 2008.
After briefly speaking with Walker it becomes evident that he is a humble Sailor.
“I hands-down believe that the success of my junior personnel plays a role in me receiving this award,” said Walker. “Anybody can brag about what they do, but when the people under you are excelling, that speaks volumes.”
Walker is very involved within his department and the command. He functions as his department’s production supervisor, and tool petty officer. Additionally he is an assistant command fitness leader and an active member of the Second Class Petty Officer Association.
“I’m a big self-starter, it doesn’t take much to motivate me,” said Walker. “I wake up every day, count my blessings and try to stay thankful for how fortunate I am.”
Walker said he is grateful for the support he receives from his chain of command.
“It makes me proud to see him win this award, he’s earned it,” said Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Tony Walker, AIMD’s IM-4 divisional leading chief petty officer. “He is a great leader, he knows how to motivate a crew. He’s very active around the division and the command and he is a big team-player.”
Throughout the many lessons Walker has learned in the Navy he feels teamwork is the most important.
“This is not a job for individuals,” said Walker. “Individuals will not excel within this profession. Through teamwork you can accomplish anything.”
Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Robert Vontoure, Walker’s mentor, expressed his thoughts on his protégé winning this award.
“It is a joy to be his mentor and see his success,” said Vontoure. “He works hard for everything he gets and doesn’t expect anything to be given to him. He’s the kind of leader we need in the Navy, I hope to see him in the Chief’s Mess someday.”
Walker offers Sailors advice from lessons he has learned from his own experience.
“Don’t let negative situations blind you from your blessings and don’t push your negative thoughts upon others,” said Walker. “Just be fortunate and thankful for what you have and focus on the positive.”
Walker has big plans for his career’s future and aspires to one day become a Chief Warrant Officer.