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Ronald Reagan Sailor Earns Prestigious Safety Award

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jamal McNeill, USS Ronald Reagan Public Affairs | | Aug. 30, 2017

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to the Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), was named one of the National Safety Council's "Top 40 under 40" Rising Stars, July 17.

Lt. Brian Desiderio, Ronald Reagan's assistant safety officer and industrial hygiene officer, beat out more than 100 nominees to earn the award.

"It means a lot to win this award," said Desiderio, a Rockville, Maryland native. "As much as it's an award for one person, it's an award for the department and ship. It provides national-level recognition for the Safety Department, as well as Ronald Reagan."

According to Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, Desiderio's efforts set the standard for safety fleet-wide.

"Lieutenant Desiderio's selection by the National Safety Council as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Safety demonstrates the culture of safety we uphold across the naval aviation force," said Shoemaker. "I couldn't be more proud of his achievement and congratulate him on the recognition of his hard work."

Desiderio arrived aboard Ronald Reagan in December 2015. During his time onboard, Desiderio managed 20 Navy Occupational Safety and Health (NAVOSH) programs and led 142 organizational safety personnel with zero significant mishaps involving damaged shipboard equipment or personnel injuries. He has also provided Operational Risk Management training to more than 5,000 Sailors during a 139-day operational deployment that included 15,900 flight hours and 29 underway replenishments.

"As the assistant safety officer, he basically runs the department," said Cmdr. Martin Griggs, Ronald Reagan's safety officer. "He coordinates all safety throughout the ship, and even though our department is only 10 people, he ensures close to 5,000 people are safe."

Under Desiderio's leadership, Ronald Reagan led the Navy across three functional areas during the ship's 2016 Board of Inspection and Survey. He helped Ronald Reagan achieve new heights in the areas of ventilation and environmental protection, earning 92 percent and 87 percent, respectively, above average scores for a nuclear aircraft carrier. Additionally, his 20 NAVOSH programs all scored in the high 90 percentiles or received zero discrepancies.

"Lt. Desiderio's focus is unrivaled across the Navy's 234 afloat safety officers," said Griggs. "His integrity and focus in all interactions positively stimulates a proactive safety culture. As a deliberate and honest communicator, he's gained the trust of junior personnel, his peers and superiors."

Lt. Desiderio quickly understood that maintaining elite safety standards may be challenging in a forward-deployed environment. However, his efforts helped create a safety-conscious culture that helps ensure the ship's ability to safely accomplish any mission. His efforts directly contributed to the ship's selection for the 2016 Admiral Flatley Memorial Award for Aviation Safety.

"Safety can be our mission, but it is a part of our culture," said Desiderio. "We need all hands to be part of the team to meet our mission."

Desiderio cited a quote from Henry Ford that sums up his dedication as a leader and team player. "When everyone moves together, success takes care of itself."

Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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