Random Lake Sailor Finds Service Rewarding Experience

A Random Lake High School graduate and Random Lake, Wis., native is serving aboard USS Nitze (DDG 94), one of the world’s most versatile multi-mission combat ships.

Petty Officer 1st Class David Winker is a machinist mate aboard the Norfolk-based ship, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that is longer than 1.5 football fields long at nearly 510 feet long. The ship is 66 feet wide and weighs more than 9,200 tons. Twin gas turbine engines can push the ship through the water at more than 30 mph. USS Nitze is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Paul Nitze, who served as Secretary of the Navy under President Lyndon B. Johnson and as chief arms control adviser in the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

A seasoned Sailor with numerous responsibilities, Winker uses his personal and professional experiences to foster eight junior Sailors in his department with hopes of becoming future leaders in today’s Navy. “I like my job and I like taking things apart in my field,” said Winker. He added that he provides insight, encouragement and assistance to his Sailors with advancement opportunities. Winker also educates himself on learning different aspects of his job and provides weekly training in molding his Sailors.

He also said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the Nitze’s 315-member crew, protecting America on the world’s oceans. “I enjoy teaching others how to fix equipment, since I do some of the same things at home.”

“It’s been a rewarding experience,” said Winker. “My job experience is going to help me on the outside world. I am proud of the Navy and it’s a good feeling knowing you can provide for your family.”