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    NAS Whiting Field 2019 Junior and Senior Civilians of the Year

    NAS Whiting Field 2019 Junior and Senior civilians of the Year

    Courtesy Photo | 200106-N-AW177-0001: Naval Air Station Whiting Field’s 2019 Junior Civilian of the...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Naval Air Station Whiting Field

    NAS Whiting Field has one of the busiest Morale, Welfare and Recreation teams in the Navy. They plan and execute dozens of fun, healthy and exciting activities every month for the Whiting family.

    Behind the scenes of every MWR event is a motivated team whose dedication, creativity, and passion for making people smile all comes together. From family game nights and picnics to Christmas tree lightings and crafting events for kids, the MWR staff does it all. In 2019, two members of the MWR team went above and beyond expectations and proudly earned recognition as Junior and Senior Civilians of the year.

    Hailing from Spencer, Iowa is Junior Civilian of the Year, Kayla Ashlock. Ashlock currently works as a recreational assistant at Whiting Park in Milton, Florida. She has nearly three years of experience under her belt.

    “I’ve been working with MWR since I was 17,” said Ashlock. “My typical day usually starts around 8:00 am, and I can do anything from opening the park, cleaning it, to renting and performing maintenance on our boats. During the park’s off season, I work at the Liberty Center on base. It’s all much better than working in fast food in my opinion!”

    When she’s not working, most of her time is spent in the gym or in attendance at Pensacola State College finishing her associate’s degree in physical therapy. Earning recognition as this year’s top junior civilian, Ashlock says, “I really wasn’t expecting this, and I didn’t think the recommendation would go this far! But I’m happy to have earned it. The bonus and time off will be nice too!”

    Also sharing recognition for her efforts is Senior Civilian of the Year, Katie Prestesater. Prestesater, a native of Columbia, Missouri, has more than 11 years of experience from coast-to-coast working with MWR. She currently serves as the Recreation Director at Whiting Field.

    Prior to coming to Whiting Field, her career has taken her to many places such as Chicago, Monterey and Lemoore, California, and Guantanamo Bay.

    Over time, she developed a unique perspective in approaching her work. “To provide fun, you have to test the fun,” said Prestesater. Before every event, she and the MWR staff “test” the activities to ensure others will enjoy them.

    Behind the scenes though is a tireless and often overlooked aspect of the job itself and her personal connection to sharing fun with others. “It’s a constant state of improvement. I want every event to be better than the last one. Ultimately, it’s my goal to share excitement and enthusiasm with others!”

    When it comes to accepting this year’s award Prestesater says, “It’s been an honor to earn but also tough to accept. It really is a representation of their [MWR Staff] work. But, as a service-oriented person, giving back gives me purpose. For that, this is all a dream come true.”



    Date Taken: 01.07.2020
    Date Posted: 01.07.2020 16:28
    Story ID: 358388
    Location: MILTON, FL, US 
    Hometown: COLUMBIA, MO, US
    Hometown: SPENCER, IA, US

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