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LT Westin Haddock is a reservist with Navy Reserve Military Sealift Command Atlantic (NR MSCLANT) in Norfolk, Va. 

NORFOLK, Va. 

I am from a small town on the east coast of Florida called Merritt Island. The town is a true island, surrounded by two rivers, the Banana River and the Indian River that connect on the extreme north and south ends of the island. Merritt Island has extensive boating and waterman activities, which is where my love for the water came from. I went to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., where I was a member of the football team for four years and was an active member in the golf club. I received my coast guard Third Mate licenses and a bachelor’s degree in Intermodal Logistics and Transportation. Upon completing my time as a midshipman at Kings Point, I have been sailing for the last seven years as a deck officer for American Maritime Officers (AMO), Masters, Mates, and Pilots (MMP), and various private companies within the government contracted commercial industry. I commissioned in the Navy Reserve’s Strategic Sealift Officer Force upon graduating from Kings Point in 2014. I chose the military to follow in the footsteps of my dad. My dad served in the Air Force as an aircraft welder and worked closely with the 38th Air Rescue Squadron on various rescue missions during the Vietnam War where he spent a full year in country. Seeing his dedication to service and his love for this country made me want to do my part and serve our great nation.

What is your name, title (both in the reserves and in the civilian world), and what role do you serve as a military staff officer with MSCLANT?

My name is LT Westin Haddock, and I am a reservist with Navy Reserve Military Sealift Command Atlantic (NR MSCLANT) in Norfolk, Va. On my civilian job, I serve as a chief mate for the Great Eastern Group on a U.S Navy owned and operated training support vessel for Carrier Strike Group Four.

What is your reserve unit’s name and mission, and how does your role in your current job assist with MSCLANT’s mission?

My reserve unit’s name is Strategic Sealift Officer Force Individual Ready Reserve 2525M

On my current job, I support MSCLANT’s mission by ensuring the fleet is provided with 24/7 logistics support for replenishment-at-sea coordination, which enables the fleet to remain properly supplied and on station for extended, uninterrupted periods.

When did you join the MSCLANT staff, and what is unique about supporting the command?

I joined MSCLANT, Oct. 10, 2021. What’s unique for me is getting the chance to see the shore side detachment, working now with the people who I serve with and for in my civilian position with TSV – Training Support Vessel Squadron, crewed by a mix of civilian and contract mariners who use the vessel to create a realistic training environment that includes academic and live training in support of Carrier Strike Group FOUR (CSG 4) in Naval Station Norfolk.

I am familiar with Composite Training Exercises, having supported COMPTUEXs on numerous occasions with underway exercises aboard TSV’s. Unfortunately, I’ve never witnessed the shore side coordination that is required to ensure the exercise reaches fruition. Now that I am a part of MSCLANT, I will be a better-rounded mariner, being familiarized with both sides of the operational equation.

What types of jobs have you held with MSCLANT in the past and have those jobs always been as a military staff officer?

In the past, I’ve worked for MSCLANT in other roles. In 2019, I was assigned to MSC Blount Island Detachment in Jacksonville, Fla, where I served as a cargo operations support officer, supporting the loading for prepositioned vessels. Once loaded, the vessels got underway to various prepositioned strategic locations.

In your most recent assignment with MSCLANT, what hat did you wear, what role did you play, and what did a typical day look like for you?

In my most recent reserve role, I served as a watchstander during CSG 8’s flag ship, the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Composite Training Exercise (COMPTUEX). I was one of five NR MSCLANT reservists who received the call to support the Command Task Force 953 Watch Officer cell. More specifically, the role I played was working with MSCLANT Combat Logistics Force vessels and CSG 4 for coordination to ensure all exercise vessels were properly supplied with fuel and stores throughout the entire 18-day exercise.

What is the best thing about being a reservist for MSCLANT?

The best thing about serving as a reservist for MSCLANT is I will experience multiple opportunities to serve in a wide variety of fields that will afford me the chance to learn new trades and areas in which MSCLANT supports the U.S. Navy on a global scale.

What is the most challenging part about working for MSCLANT as a reservist?

The most challenging part is balancing my reserve requirements with my civilian responsibilities. My goal always is to ensure the reserve schedule lines up with my civilian underway schedule, especially in regards to keeping up with the requirements in order to be eligible to serve.

What is your most favorite MSCLANT memory at sea?

My favorite MSCLANT memory at sea was during my time as a cadet aboard Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oiler USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195). We had a great crew, and I truly enjoyed the work we did.

What would you tell a reservist who is interested in joining MSCLANT?

As a new reservist providing support to MSCLANT, I recommend that you ask tons questions, get involved, and seek guidance from other reservists who have been in for a while and understand the process; so that, they can provide you with their guidance on the different avenues for providing support, both afloat and ashore.

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