NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. –
Fresh out of high school and on his first
job as an assistant camp manager, Eulysses
“Elly” Roldan, USS George H.W. Bush
(CVN 77) Work Integration Leader, learned
some valuable work ethic skills. These skills
would become second nature in his personal
and professional life.
“While working with my father on the
farm, he taught me to be responsible and
how to take care of things while taking care
of others,” said Roldan. “I used those skills
throughout my naval career, as a contractor,
and while working at Norfolk Naval Shipyard
(NNSY).”If you ask Roldan what his favorite
things about working at the shipyard are, he
will happily tell you it is the people and how
they look out for each other.
“We are friendly, we are happy to
see each other even when we just saw one
another, and we are a growing diverse family,”
said Roldan. “I think it is important that we
get to know each other and when we do, it
brings out the comradery. And, it doesn’t take
long for the new employees or contractors to
realize we are all in this together as a team
working towards the same mission.”
Before the ship arrives, and as soon as he is assigned to a carrier project, Roldan
welcomes the contractors to the team and
begins the steps of helping them get onboard
and familiar with the shipyard.
“I have been in their shoes and
understand what they go through in order
to get onboard to execute their jobs,” said
Roldan. “They can’t just drive in through the
gate, go and do their jobs and leave. It doesn’t
work that way here. I think it is hard for
people to understand that unless they have
worked in the shipyard, and part of my job
is making the process seamless as possible.”
Another part of his job as an integration
leader is helping teach new employees the ropes in a carrier planned incremental availability (PIA), explaining how to be prepared for the unexpected, ensuring they understand and feel confident in their job, and reminding them if they get frustrated, don’t give up and ask for help because they are going to get through the problem no matter what it is.
To Roldan, teamwork, building skills and having the ability and capacity to change on a dime are valuable skills that are definitely needed to work on a carrier project. He also feels it is important the workforce understands what we do for our country is valued and unique.
“No other country in the world can do what we do in a United States naval shipyard,” explained Roldan. “What we do here is really special. We perform the maintenance on an operational nuclear super aircraft carrier that is already built and fix whatever is wrong with it. We can do it in a dry dock, in and out of the water, pierside, and while at sea. Being a part of that process is really rewarding and amazing to me.”
At the end of a carrier PIA, the ship departs the shipyard and goes through a series of tests at sea before the work is considered complete and the ship is certified to be sea worthy to perform global operations. Roldan is a vital part of making that happen.
“A PIA is hard work and it takes a team effort to have a successful availability,” said Roldan. “Feeling that accomplishment is huge whether it is your first or fifth carrier project.”
Roldan’s excitement for carrier projects continues as he recently achieved his goal of being promoted to work integration manager. His first carrier project will be for the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the near future.