CRANE, Ind. - Fifty years of service is impressive in any business or sector of the government, so Crane Army Ammunition Activity honored Explosives Operator Roy Flick, Jr., with a Commander's Award for Civilian Service.
Flick, known as Junior to those who work with him, reached the milestone February and received the award and his 50-years service pin in a surprise celebration by his coworkers.
CAAA Commander Col. Charles Kibben expressed his gratitude and appreciation for Flick's service to Crane during the presentation of the award. He said, "This fellow right here has trained more supervisors to do what they are doing on that line than you can even imagine. Junior has taken on the task of doing some incredible things for this organization and the reason why this organization is as incredible as it is, is because of people like him. Fifty years of service is a tremendous mark on the wall."
Flick credited good health and enjoying his work for the longevity. His time at Crane means that he is one of a handful group of employees who started with Crane Navy and made the transition when the Army Activity began in 1977. It also gives him a great amount of institutional knowledge that CAAA has come to appreciate.
"Having somebody with that corporate knowledge is hard to put that price tag on, because these days people want to get different experiences and I think there is something to be said for that person who wants to specialize," Pyrotechnics Division Supervisor Tom Long, who received training from Flick, stated. "To have somebody who has specialize in Pyro has been awesome for our team. As we start new programs and start seeing what we can learn from past experiences, Junior is the guy that we go to first and foremost every time."
Long is one of many supervisors who received his training from Flick. It is a job that Flick takes obvious pleasure in doing.
"I enjoy training the people," he said. "I feel like that is my way of supporting the Warfighter. I think the total of supervisors and leaders I have trained is 126."
While Flick tends to be modest in talking about reaching the milestone, his supervisors had plenty of praise.
"During that half century, he has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge on most pyrotechnic programs ever produced at Crane, which he has willingly shared with others throughout the site," Crane's Manufacturing and Engineering Director Scott Haraburda said in submitting Flick for the award. "His experience has proven invaluable in the area of training. He has always been very willing to provide training to other new operators in pyrotechnics. He always stresses the importance of good housekeeping as well as safety. He always "walks the talk" in his mentoring role as well, by maintaining a very clean work area and always wearing the correct personal protective equipment."
Additionally, Haraburda said, "Over the past 10 years, Mr. Flick's pyrotechnic expertise has been particularly beneficial in support of the ten different mortar and artillery candles produced at Crane. He has been a contributing key player in developing the current process for these programs, a process which continues to result in excellent end item performance in the field."
Flick said as long as his health continues, he has no immediate plans to retire. Thinking back on all the people who retired before him, he said, "I used to joke with some of the supervisors back when they were retiring, saying 'I am going to stay longer than you.'"
CAAA was established in Oct. 1977 and is a tenant of the Navy Region Midwest, Naval Support Activity Crane. The Army activity maintains ordnance professionals and infrastructure to receive, store, ship, produce, renovate and demilitarize conventional ammunition, missiles and related components.