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Military News of Virgin Islanders – August 2004

Editor's note: The Source newspapers publish available information about Virgin Islanders who are serving their country in the military. For earlier notices, see separate monthly files in this section.
Please e-mail information about yourself or any family member serving in these regards to source@viaccess.net. Provide the individual's full name, age, rank, service branch or organization, home island, immediate family members in the Virgin Islands, brief description of education and training, and, if possible, a description of where the person is based or has been deployed. Please limit the information to about 200 words. We welcome photos.
Senior Airman Curtis Cooksey / St. Thomas
Aug. 27, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Senior Airman Curtis W. Cooksey has been decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal. The medal is awarded to those individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement or meritorious service in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Air Force.
The airman, a 1997 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, is the son of Dora S. Hill and Wilfred C. Cooksey, both of St. Thomas.
He was handpicked to manage the enormous volume of communications generated by the largest group in the wing, with more than 2,100 personnel in seven diverse squadrons, and more than 250,000 retirees. His meticulous management of the group's performance reports and decorations programs directly led to a 45-percent decrease in late submissions. When the noncommissioned officer in charge deployed to Operations Enduring Freedom, Airman Cooksey went above and beyond by stepping forward and flawlessly performing all of his supervisor's duties. With no prior experience, he volunteered for and successfully managed the group's quarterly awards program from start to finish with absolutely stellar results.
Cooksey, an information manager journeyman, is assigned to the 6th Mission Support Group, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.
Army National Guard Pfc. Julicia Jackson / St. Thomas
Aug. 24, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Army National Guard Pfc. Julicia A. Jackson has graduated from the water treatment specialist advanced individual training course at Fort Lee, Petersburg, Va.
Jackson, a 2003 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, is the daughter of Julian A. Jackson of Estate Dorothea, and Alicia M. Woodley, both of St. Thomas.
The course is designed to train students to perform installation and operation of water purification equipment, and water storage and distribution operations and activities. Specialists' duties include assisting in water reconnaissance, site preparation, and the setup of a water treatment activity; receive, issue and store potable water, perform water quality analysis testing and verification; analyze food and water samples to ensure quality, and conduct health and safety investigations of living quarters and base facilities; provide training on industrial hygiene, environmental health and occupational health issues, and monitoring noise and radiation levels at job sites.
Army National Guard Pvt. Vernecia Ralph / St. Thomas
Aug. 24, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Army National Guard Pvt. Vernecia A. Ralph, a 2002 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, has graduated from the water treatment specialist advanced individual training course at Fort Lee, Petersburg, Va.
The course is described in detail in the entry above.
Marine Corps Cpl. Jasen J. Jones / St. Croix
Aug. 23, 2004 (Fleet Hometown News) – Marine Corps Cpl. Jasen J. Jones, son of Corrine A. Jones of St. Croix, V. I., and more than 2, 000 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, recently began the process of ensuring security and stability in the central Iraqi province of Northern Babil.
Operating from Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Jones' unit's first order of business was to establish rapport with their neighbors and let them know they are prepared to help them in any way they can. The Marines drove throughout their area of responsibility, stopping to offer residents water and to talk with them about their living conditions and how the Marines could help them.
The Forward Operating Base provides security against insurgents and anti-coalition militia for hundreds of Marines in Jones' unit.
Jones' unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment.
MEU's are built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a combat service support element, a reinforced helicopter squadron and a command element.
With its complement of fully integrated air and ground forces, Jones' unit is ready to conduct real-world operations including boat raids, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, noncombatant evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance operations.
Jones, a 2001 graduate of Central High School, joined the Marine Corps in October 2001.
Army National Guard SPC Pearlette Maynard / St. Croix
Aug. 17, 2004 (personal submission by sister, Suean Maynard) – SPC Pearlette M. Maynard, daughter of Sedrick and Leonora Maynard of Estate Strawberry, is currently serving in Iraq. She is stationed at Cam Caldwell as a light wheel vehicle mechanic.
Maynard graduated from Central High in 1983. She became an alumnus of Wake Technical Community College in August 2000. Presently she is a student at North Carolina Central University, majoring in Criminal Justice. She has served with the Army National Guard for 14-plus years through her home unit at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Navy Seaman Leaha Pulley / St. Croix
Aug. 17, 2004 (Fleet Hometown News) – Navy Seaman Leaha D. Pulley, daughter of Leatitia M. Mercier of Christiansted, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.
During the eight-week program, Pulley completed a variety of training that included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations". This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.
Pulley is a 2004 graduate of Boys Town High School of Boys Town, Neb.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Trace Edinborough / St. Croix, St. Thomas
Aug. 11, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Trace L. Edinborough has received the outstanding airman of the year award.
Selection was based on the individual's exemplary duty performance, job knowledge, leadership qualities, significant self-improvement, and other specific achievements and notable accomplishments.
The sergeant, a joint weapon system support superintendent with 18 years of military service, is assigned to the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
He is the son of Marilyn L. Josiah of Kingshill, St. Croix, and Clyde R. Edinborough of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
Edinborough received a bachelor's degree in 2002 from Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio, Texas. He earned an associate degree in 1998 from the Community College of Air Force.
Christopher J. Paul / St. Thomas
Aug. 11, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Airman Christopher J. Paul has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
He is the son of Claudia Blackett of Tutu, St. Thomas.
During the six weeks of training,
the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Airman Laurel Maples / St. Croix
Aug. 5, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Airman Laurel M. Maples has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
Maples is the daughter of Barbara Thomas of Pueblo, Colo., and Michael Maples of Christiansted. She is a 2001 graduate of Pueblo County High School.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Air Force Airman Nyx Z. Nieves Lopez / St. Croix
Aug. 4, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) – Air Force Airman 1st Class Nyx Z. Nieves Lopez has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
Nieves Lopez is the son of Reuben Nieves of Christiansted. He graduated in 1997 from St. Croix Central High School, and received a bachelor's degree in 2003 from the University of the Virgin Islands.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Army Pvt. Kevin Chapman / St. Croix
Aug. 3, 2004 (Personal submission) – My name is Kevin Chapman, Pfc. (E-3), U.S. Army. I was born on St. Croix on March 14, 1985. I graduated from the St. Croix Educational Complex in June 2003. My parents, David and Rona Chapman, currently reside in Estate Diamond. Frederiksted.
I graduated from Fort Benning, Ga., in July 2003, and did advanced individual training (AIT) at Fort Jackson. I am currently stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, with the 43D Signal Battalion, HHD Company. My position is Human Resource Specialist (42A).
Army Chief Warrant Officer Three Ellen M. Magras / St. Croix
Aug. 2, 2004 (personal communication) – Ellen M. Magras, daughter of the late Richard "Frenchie" Magras of St. Thomas and Dariel C. Ruiz of St. Croix, is currently stationed in Iraq, "proudly serving," she says, in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) II. On Aug. 1, 2004, she was promoted by her commander to the rank of CW3, Chief Warrant Officer Three.
Officer Magras is the DISCOM Food Service Technician and the Assistant S4. She has served in the U.S. Army for nearly 19 years.
"I look forward to coming home on my R&R leave scheduled here shortly," Magras said via e-mail. "I have a beautiful daughter named Somalia who resides in St. Croix with my mother. Much love to all!"

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Editor's note: The Source newspapers publish available information about Virgin Islanders who are serving their country in the military. For earlier notices, see separate monthly files in this section.
Please e-mail information about yourself or any family member serving in these regards to source@viaccess.net. Provide the individual's full name, age, rank, service branch or organization, home island, immediate family members in the Virgin Islands, brief description of education and training, and, if possible, a description of where the person is based or has been deployed. Please limit the information to about 200 words. We welcome photos.
Senior Airman Curtis Cooksey / St. Thomas
Aug. 27, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Air Force Senior Airman Curtis W. Cooksey has been decorated with the Air Force Commendation Medal. The medal is awarded to those individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement or meritorious service in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Air Force.
The airman, a 1997 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, is the son of Dora S. Hill and Wilfred C. Cooksey, both of St. Thomas.
He was handpicked to manage the enormous volume of communications generated by the largest group in the wing, with more than 2,100 personnel in seven diverse squadrons, and more than 250,000 retirees. His meticulous management of the group's performance reports and decorations programs directly led to a 45-percent decrease in late submissions. When the noncommissioned officer in charge deployed to Operations Enduring Freedom, Airman Cooksey went above and beyond by stepping forward and flawlessly performing all of his supervisor's duties. With no prior experience, he volunteered for and successfully managed the group's quarterly awards program from start to finish with absolutely stellar results.
Cooksey, an information manager journeyman, is assigned to the 6th Mission Support Group, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, Fla.
Army National Guard Pfc. Julicia Jackson / St. Thomas
Aug. 24, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Army National Guard Pfc. Julicia A. Jackson has graduated from the water treatment specialist advanced individual training course at Fort Lee, Petersburg, Va.
Jackson, a 2003 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, is the daughter of Julian A. Jackson of Estate Dorothea, and Alicia M. Woodley, both of St. Thomas.
The course is designed to train students to perform installation and operation of water purification equipment, and water storage and distribution operations and activities. Specialists' duties include assisting in water reconnaissance, site preparation, and the setup of a water treatment activity; receive, issue and store potable water, perform water quality analysis testing and verification; analyze food and water samples to ensure quality, and conduct health and safety investigations of living quarters and base facilities; provide training on industrial hygiene, environmental health and occupational health issues, and monitoring noise and radiation levels at job sites.
Army National Guard Pvt. Vernecia Ralph / St. Thomas
Aug. 24, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Army National Guard Pvt. Vernecia A. Ralph, a 2002 graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, has graduated from the water treatment specialist advanced individual training course at Fort Lee, Petersburg, Va.
The course is described in detail in the entry above.
Marine Corps Cpl. Jasen J. Jones / St. Croix
Aug. 23, 2004 (Fleet Hometown News) – Marine Corps Cpl. Jasen J. Jones, son of Corrine A. Jones of St. Croix, V. I., and more than 2, 000 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, recently began the process of ensuring security and stability in the central Iraqi province of Northern Babil.
Operating from Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Jones' unit's first order of business was to establish rapport with their neighbors and let them know they are prepared to help them in any way they can. The Marines drove throughout their area of responsibility, stopping to offer residents water and to talk with them about their living conditions and how the Marines could help them.
The Forward Operating Base provides security against insurgents and anti-coalition militia for hundreds of Marines in Jones' unit.
Jones' unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment.
MEU's are built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a combat service support element, a reinforced helicopter squadron and a command element.
With its complement of fully integrated air and ground forces, Jones' unit is ready to conduct real-world operations including boat raids, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, noncombatant evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance operations.
Jones, a 2001 graduate of Central High School, joined the Marine Corps in October 2001.
Army National Guard SPC Pearlette Maynard / St. Croix
Aug. 17, 2004 (personal submission by sister, Suean Maynard) - SPC Pearlette M. Maynard, daughter of Sedrick and Leonora Maynard of Estate Strawberry, is currently serving in Iraq. She is stationed at Cam Caldwell as a light wheel vehicle mechanic.
Maynard graduated from Central High in 1983. She became an alumnus of Wake Technical Community College in August 2000. Presently she is a student at North Carolina Central University, majoring in Criminal Justice. She has served with the Army National Guard for 14-plus years through her home unit at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Navy Seaman Leaha Pulley / St. Croix
Aug. 17, 2004 (Fleet Hometown News) - Navy Seaman Leaha D. Pulley, daughter of Leatitia M. Mercier of Christiansted, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.
During the eight-week program, Pulley completed a variety of training that included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations". This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.
Pulley is a 2004 graduate of Boys Town High School of Boys Town, Neb.
Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Trace Edinborough / St. Croix, St. Thomas
Aug. 11, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Trace L. Edinborough has received the outstanding airman of the year award.
Selection was based on the individual's exemplary duty performance, job knowledge, leadership qualities, significant self-improvement, and other specific achievements and notable accomplishments.
The sergeant, a joint weapon system support superintendent with 18 years of military service, is assigned to the Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
He is the son of Marilyn L. Josiah of Kingshill, St. Croix, and Clyde R. Edinborough of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
Edinborough received a bachelor's degree in 2002 from Wayland Baptist University, San Antonio, Texas. He earned an associate degree in 1998 from the Community College of Air Force.
Christopher J. Paul / St. Thomas
Aug. 11, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Air Force Airman Christopher J. Paul has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
He is the son of Claudia Blackett of Tutu, St. Thomas.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Airman Laurel Maples / St. Croix
Aug. 5, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Air Force Airman Laurel M. Maples has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
Maples is the daughter of Barbara Thomas of Pueblo, Colo., and Michael Maples of Christiansted. She is a 2001 graduate of Pueblo County High School.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Air Force Airman Nyx Z. Nieves Lopez / St. Croix
Aug. 4, 2004 (Army & Air Force Hometown News) - Air Force Airman 1st Class Nyx Z. Nieves Lopez has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.
Nieves Lopez is the son of Reuben Nieves of Christiansted. He graduated in 1997 from St. Croix Central High School, and received a bachelor's degree in 2003 from the University of the Virgin Islands.
During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations. In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.
Army Pvt. Kevin Chapman / St. Croix
Aug. 3, 2004 (Personal submission) - My name is Kevin Chapman, Pfc. (E-3), U.S. Army. I was born on St. Croix on March 14, 1985. I graduated from the St. Croix Educational Complex in June 2003. My parents, David and Rona Chapman, currently reside in Estate Diamond. Frederiksted.
I graduated from Fort Benning, Ga., in July 2003, and did advanced individual training (AIT) at Fort Jackson. I am currently stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, with the 43D Signal Battalion, HHD Company. My position is Human Resource Specialist (42A).
Army Chief Warrant Officer Three Ellen M. Magras / St. Croix
Aug. 2, 2004 (personal communication) - Ellen M. Magras, daughter of the late Richard "Frenchie" Magras of St. Thomas and Dariel C. Ruiz of St. Croix, is currently stationed in Iraq, "proudly serving," she says, in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) II. On Aug. 1, 2004, she was promoted by her commander to the rank of CW3, Chief Warrant Officer Three.
Officer Magras is the DISCOM Food Service Technician and the Assistant S4. She has served in the U.S. Army for nearly 19 years.
"I look forward to coming home on my R&R leave scheduled here shortly," Magras said via e-mail. "I have a beautiful daughter named Somalia who resides in St. Croix with my mother. Much love to all!"

Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.