Two Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) employees have been recognized as the 2018 junior and senior civilians of the third quarter. NAS Jax Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Kaylee LaRocque is the senior civilian of the quarter and Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) Family Life Specialist Paul Stewart is the junior civilian of the quarter.
LaRocque began working at NAS Jax in 2001 as the Jax Air News editor after retiring from the Navy as a chief journalist. In 2008, she became the station’s assistant PAO until transferring to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast Public Affairs in 2013, working as a writer and deputy PAO. She returned as the NAS Jax PAO in February 2016.
“I’m so appreciative of being selected for this award and for being recognized for doing a job that I absolutely love,” said LaRocque. “We have top-notch leadership and a great team here who continually strive to support one another and the command’s mission of supporting the warfighters. Although our PAO staff is small, we do whatever we can to promote command and tenant command activities and recognize the Sailors, civilian and contractors on their accomplishments.”
LaRocque is responsible for overseeing the production of Jax Air News, Base Welcome Aboard Guide, social media (Facebook/Twitter) pages, base website, command marquee, coordinating VIP tours, responding to media requests and handling media visits, air show publicity, and currently working with the NAS Jax Environmental Department, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast and contractors on the NAS Jax drinking water investigation.
“This is a very fast-paced job and you never know what might come up during the day or night. From squadron homecomings to hurricanes to last minute VIP visits, we are usually involved in some way or another,” said LaRocque. “It can be challenging at times, but we get the job done and rely on our resources. I’ve been here for a long time and know who to contact for the answers we may need.”
In her free time, LaRocque enjoys spending time with her teenage son and friends, traveling, the beach, yoga, rescuing animals and gardening.
Stewart began working for FFSC in 2009 at Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay, Georgia, after he retired from the Navy as a chief career counselor. After joining the NAS Jax team in 2011, he served for 12 months in 2016 at Camp Lemonnier Djibouti, Africa.
“I am so honored and proud to be chosen for junior civilian of the quarter. It’s really all the people around you that make this all happen,” said Stewart.
He said his favorite accomplishment this year was meeting with the EverBank Management team, teaching them how military jobs soft skills translate to the civilian workforce.
“I have a huge passion for helping Sailors and their families,” he said.
Among his other accomplishments for FFSC, he planned and coordinated the FFSC Marketing Blitz Campaign, marketing programs to more than 50 commands, agencies and venues aboard the station.
Stewart also coordinated return and reunion training for 25 staff members on processes and procedures to support deploying service members and their families.
Stewart said his favorite part of his job is, “the camaraderie with co-workers and being able to help service members, military spouses and retirees.”
He developed an accountability inventory and coordinated software updates for 50 TGPS and 20 career resource lab computers. Stewart also spearheaded a research base training initiative for the 21st Century Sailor office to educate Sailors on intervention of suicide and other destructive behaviors. Additionally, he assisted the NSB Kings Bay FFSC to teach “10 Steps to Federal Jobs” as the center does not have a certified trainer.
“Seeing them find a job and be so happy is really just one of the best parts of working with the military,” Stewart said.
When not helping Sailors, he enjoys whitewater rafting and hiking with his family, playing guitar, writing songs and performing.