DVIDS – News – Wauseon, Ohio Native Serves aboard USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) While Conducting Operations in the East China Sea
EAST CHINA SEA (Nov. 25, 2023) A Wauseon, Ohio native and 2022 graduate of Wauseon High School is serving aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115), which is forward-deployed to Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.
Seaman Apprentice Tucker McKean is a Culinary Specialist, also known as a CS. According to The Bluejacket Manuel, CSs manage Navy dining facilities. They maintain food services and prepare meals for all personnel ashore and afloat. McKean said he chose this rate because he loves to cook. He had five years of culinary experience prior to joining the Navy. He worked as a server, line cook, bus boy and host at a couple of high-class restaurants.
“Cooking on a ship is very vital,” McKean said. “We support most of the morale aboard. When a Sailor wakes up in the morning, they are able to get a hot meal to start their day off right. In the evenings, we serve the Sailors who keep us safe while we are sleeping. Without CS’s, the ship would go hungry.”
McKean joined the Navy in January 2022. He has been serving aboard the Rafael Peralta since December 2022, but he has already had many positive experiences. In August 2023, he was asked to sing for some high-ranking Australian, Indian, and American officers during a reception for Exercise Malabar in Australia. The reception featured talents from across the participating commands, such as traditional dance and martial arts demonstrations. He has visited multiple countries this year and is grateful for the opportunity to travel the world.
“I think seeing all these other countries is pretty cool,” McKean said. “Growing up in Ohio, you don’t really see much. Most of the places I’ve seen, not half of them will be seen by the people where I was grown.”
Both of McKean’s parents served in the military, so he said they are proud to see him following in their footsteps. McKean said that he has learned more about cooking through working at this command and seeing others work hard around him motivates him to do the best that he can in his job.
“I like to have a good time while I’m working, so I’m always dancing or singing in the galley,” McKean said. “We also have some new Sailors coming from CS A-school, so I’m hoping I can impart all I have learned from this year onto them.”
Rafael Peralta is forward deployed and assigned to Commander, Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
|EAST CHINA SEA
|WAUSEON, OH, US
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