USS RONALD REAGAN—Alexander DLG Evangelista has been in the U.S. Navy for 16 years and currently is in his third deployment with the USS Ronald Reagan, under the Carrier Strike Group 5 assigned to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
He is looking to retire in the next five or six years to spend more time with his family and he plans to return to Saipan to be closer to his parents and other relatives. His brother and sister have already returned to Saipan. Now he looks forward in joining them.
“I’m from Koblerville. Our mom and dad are still there,” he proudly told members of the CNMI media that had the chance to tour the 97,000-ton Nimitz class aircraft carrier while patrolling the waters off the Marianas last week.
“My oldest brother, Eric Evangelista, after being in Washington for a few years, moved back and now works as principal of Da’ok Academy. My sisters moved just two months ago from San Diego just to be closer to the family.”
Their parents and his children are some of the reasons why he is looking forward for his retirement. “I’m about to do the same maybe in five or six years. Mom and Dad are getting older so we need to cherish the time that we’ve left with them.”
“I plan to retire on Saipan. It’s my home and so our kids can experience a little bit of Chamorro culture and lifestyle that I grew up with. They will be probably teenagers then and it will be kind of hard for them since they’ve been moving around.”
His wife and their two kids are also in Japan where the battle group is home-ported at Yokosuka Naval Base. He’s been with the Navy for 16 years and has been on board the USS Ronald Reagan for a year now as chief petty officer.
“A chief petty officer, the best way to explain it in the civilian sector, is I work in human resources. A personnel pay specialist. I mostly do payroll and accounting,” added Evangelista, who was glad to be in the backyard of the Marianas.
“I came from a port visit in Guam. I’m happy to be here and to see some familiar faces back home. There’s a lot of history on the islands with the war. Just being part of the Navy and understand how they played their role during the war makes me appreciate [Navy service] more. Especially that I came from the islands.”
Evangelista said he’s biased in saying that the Navy is the best among the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. “We are the world’s strongest Navy. I highly recommend [the U.S. Navy]. It is a great opportunity.”
“It is an honor to serve our nation. You will have sacrifices to make but there are also benefits. You get to travel, get your college education, and tuition assistance to get a degree. So, there’s a little bit of something for everybody.”
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who led an 18-member CNMI delegation in the tour, was also glad to see a native from Saipan on board the USS Ronald Reagan. “I know him [Evangelista]. It was awesome to see him.”
“His brother is Eric, who is the principal at Da’ok Academy. Their mom used to be a teacher at Koblerville Elementary School. It is really nice to see our folks being in the armed services.”