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    Photo By Robin Holland | Operations Specialist Seaman Amare Davis, Captain Matthew Rick and Information System...... read more read more



    Story by Robin Holland 

    Training Support Center Hampton Roads

    In 2017 when Willoughby, Ohio native Captain Matthew Rick took command of Training Support Center Hampton Roads (TSCHR), one of the first things on his agenda was to meet his 200 staff members.

    For some commands new employee meet and greets with the big boss have become a thing of the past, but for Rick it’s a priority to know his staff no matter how junior. Each staff member is given a questionnaire on their previous duty stations, hometown, career goals, family, education, hobbies, prior to meeting with their Commanding Officer (CO). During two of the interviews Rick recently found out that two of his staff members Operations Specialist Seaman Amare Davis and Information System Technician Ariana Berry were from Willoughby. What makes Seaman Davis and Berry so interesting to Rick is they both reported to TSCHR within weeks of each other and they did not know each other and of course he did not know them. Seaman Davis even graduated from the same high school as Rick – Willoughby South High School.

    “It is pretty amazing the three of us are serving together considering Willoughby only has a population of 22,000 and the Navy has over 330,000 current active duty Sailors,” said Rick.

    TSCHR provides centralized student management (Housing, Administration, Legal support and discipline, Career Counseling, Education and Pastoral/Counseling Support) and Learning infrastructure support (Business Services, Supply Support, Facilities Management, Safety and Emergency Management, Computer Network and Cyber Security Management, Classroom Peripheral Equipment and Furniture Maintenance and Management) to learning centers and sites in the Hampton Roads area of responsibility, as well as direct support to the Fleet through an aggressive liaison service between Fleet Training Officers and learning centers/sites schedulers.

    Since TSCHR’s geography is so spread out, Rick feels it’s necessary to put names with faces. TSCHR operates across five major installations with an area of responsibility of 400 square miles, 88 training facilities, 2.2 million square feet of training space, 22 Learning Centers and seven Learning Sites.

    “When I met with Captain Rick, I found him to be very personable, he had a genuine interest in my career and answered any questions I had regarding the command,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Amare Davis, “Then I found out he was from Willoughby and we talked about where I went to high school and the neighborhood. He made me feel welcome and part of the command team.”

    While Rick has a busy schedule, he makes every effort to get to know his staff. “Being that my parents were both school teachers, they were my role models, instilling in me to have a sincere interest in people while encouraging and helping them to achieve their goals,” said Rick.

    According to Information System Technician Seaman Ariana Berry, a Cornerstone Christian Academy Graduate, who also hails from Willoughby, “It was a great opportunity to meet with Captain Rick. He was really interested in my career and shared stepping stones on the best way to earn my college degree. He also told me I could achieve anything that I put my mind to. At my last command, I didn’t have a one-on-one with my CO.”

    “Additionally, TSC holds staff indoctrinations where new team members have an opportunity to meet personnel at other sites, get to know more about the command and our mission, functions, goals and most importantly our customers,” said Rick. “Before I left high school, someone once told me, when you meet new people to always remember details about them, so that when you see them again you have something to talk about and the other person notices how engaged you are.”

    Rick has put this advice to good use during his career in the Navy. Since he works with people, he feels you have to invest your time in them and when you get to know them you make connections based on their talents, interests, and where they are from. Each person brings diversity to any organization.

    “Even though there is a generational gap between us, it can surely be a small world when an institution as large as the Navy coincidentally brings three people from a small suburb of Cleveland together at one command in Virginia Beach. That has never happened to me in my 25-year career,” said Rick.



    Date Taken: 04.17.2019
    Date Posted: 04.17.2019 13:57
    Story ID: 318529
    Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US 

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