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Cedar Park-area sailor honored in Japan

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Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2012 9:00 am

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – Sailor of the week is a title granted to a different sailor on board Naval Air Facility Atsugi once a week who has shown exemplary skill and work ethic within their shop and rate.

This week’s Sailor of the Week is Personnel Specialist 3rd Class (PS3) Candelario Contreras, III, a 2010 graduate from Westwood High School in Austin. Contreras is the son of Carina and Candelario Contreras, Jr. of Cedar Park.

As Sailor of the Week, Contreras was the guest host of the base’s weekly show, Captain’s Call, with the Commanding Officer Capt. Steven Wieman and Command Master Chief Carlton Duncan.

Shortly after graduating High School, Contreras joined the Navy in February, 2011. “I joined because I wanted to better myself,” said Contreras. “I saw what was happening around me back home and didn’t want to be part of that.”

After completing boot camp, Contreras transferred to Meridian, Miss to begin his training at the Personnel Specialist Instruction School.

Contreras admires the politeness of the Japanese people and the traditional ceremonies conducted to show their respect to their elders and religious gods.

Contreras said that the Japanese people are very nice and that he likes that they show respect to either their elders or their gods by the upkeep of their traditional ceremonies.

Contreras works as a military pay clerk for Personnel Support Detachment (PSD) at NAF Atsugi.

“I process everyone’s OHA [overseas housing allowance], BHA [basic housing allowance], and start and stop entitlements,” said Contreras. “If anybody ever has any pay questions, I’m the guy to go to.”

“He processed over 100 pay entitlements for NAF Atsugi, HSL 51 [Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light FIVE ONE] squadron and reserve personnel,” said Personnel Specialist Chief Ernesto Malicdan, Contreras’ leading chief petty officer.

Contreras has ensured all pay entitlements were completed accurately and on time which has contributed to Atsugi’s PSD consistent accuracy rate while also methodically tracking HSL 51’s deployment and their changing pay entitlements without missing a beat.

“His [Contreras’] section received outstanding results from recent unannounced examination of disbursing and personnel operations from Field Examination Group San Diego and NPPSC [Navy Pay and Personnel Support Center] Quality Assurance, Assistance, Standardization and Training Group,” said Malicdan.

Contreras was not only recognized as the Sailor of the Week, but he was also named NAF Atsugi’s Blue Jacket of Year for 2011 for his unprecedented work performance.

“PS3 Contreras’ performance has been outstanding,” said Malicdan. “He is an exemplary professional, highly motivated and knowledgeable Personnel Specialist.”

When Contreras is not in the office, he spends his free time going to the gym, hanging out with friends and spending some time the kitchen or outside barbecuing. “I mostly like to grill, preferably steak,” said Contreras.

While Contreras says he misses his family, and some “real Texas barbecue” back home, he hopes to achieve senior chief petty officer during his service in the Navy.

“I want to pass on my knowledge to my junior Sailors,” said Contreras.

Welcome to the discussion.