LT Sheryll Evangelista
Hometown: San Diego, CA
College: San Diego State University
Major/Degree: Graphic Design
Navy Programs Utilized While in College: NROTC
Current Assignment: Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, TN
Affinity Associations: The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA).
Future Goals: To be successful at each command
Hobbies: Playing the guitar and singing
As a Filipino American, how has the Navy helped propel your career? The Navy paid for my education and training, which enabled me to perform to the best of my ability, experience personal growth and develop as a leader. I have a twin sister, so the Navy definitely alleviated financial burdens that my parents would have had if they had to pay for my education along with my sister’s education.
How did your family feel about you joining the Navy? My mother and sister were really excited for me. My father, however, was not too thrilled in the beginning. He felt that I would have a hard time in such a male-dominated environment. But, when he saw me in my white uniform, he realized that I CAN do it. From that point on, he was so proud of me. My dad enlisted in the Navy when he was younger, along with my two grandfathers. I remember when I was 13 years old, I told my dad I wanted to be just like him.
How do they feel about all your success in the Navy? I have been doing really well in the Navy. I have great mentors that have guided me through my Navy careers. I am so thankful that the Navy has such great leaders and mentors because, without them, I don’t think I would have been as successful as I am now; they have definitely increased my success.
Did you utilize any of the Navy’s money for college programs? Yes, through the NROTC program.
Has there been any one thing that has stood out for you as a definitive “Navy” experience – a highlight of your time in service? On my first division tour, we were undergoing an exercise off the coast of Egypt. I was a Junior Officer of the Deck on mid-watch with other Navy personnel. All of a sudden, we were informed that there was an Egyptian “helo” (helicopter) that malfunctioned over the water. My training kicked in and I was able to take charge like a Warfare Officer is supposed to take charge. It was like I was on autopilot because the Navy prepared me so well; I instantaneously knew what to do. This experience built my confidence and reinforced my Captain’s advice: “Through time, you will gain confidence.”
Where are you stationed now? Navy Recruiting Command in Millington, TN. I work in our Diversity Department where we form partnerships with student organizations. I have personal responsibility for managing the Navy’s relationship with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA).
Where have you been stationed? Any place you really want to go that you haven’t been to yet? My first two tours, I was stationed on USS Tarawa and USS Benfold in San Diego. I would definitely like to experience a Mediterranean cruise.
Do you like being on ships? How is a deployment different from being stationed at home in terms of working? I do. I like watching individuals grow as people, and it’s really cool getting to know one another and working as a team. During deployment, you have to get used to being on watch and adjusting to different sleep habits. You have to make sure everything is operational 24/7. You have to really understand the ship, its routine and where you fit in. Time management becomes a key skill.
Do you recommend the Navy to other people you meet – young people who might be looking for a career or help getting through college? Yes, definitely. Not only for the education aspect, but also the Navy makes you ready for the next level. They really teach you how to be a leader. You have the opportunity to manage 10 to 20 different individuals, so you are not only gaining management experience, but you are also able to learn how to manage different types of individuals.
Do you feel being in the Navy gave you a leg up on achieving your career goals? Yes, definitely.
What most impressed your family about your Navy career? I am the first female in my family that joined the Navy, and I am the first Officer in the family.