Fisheries Slide Show Feature
Pacific Region


Saluting Veterans in Fishery Resources

“More than 1,400 Service employees use their prior military experience to promote a devotion to mission and country.  I am honored they have chosen to dedicate this part of their careers to the conservation of fish and wildlife.” - Pacific Region Regional Director Robyn Thorson. 

This is the story of one of our Pacific Region Fishery Resources Program veterans, a man whose last name is especially befitting a Service employee. He is one of the many retired or active members of the armed services that are fulfilling a new mission, working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. 

Mike Steward works at Quilcene National Fish Hatchery in Quilcene, Washington. The hatchery is located on the eastern shore of the Olympic Peninsula, on Dabob Bay, an arm of Hood Canal that drains into Puget Sound. Quilcene has been producing salmon for more than 100 years, and Steward is part of a team that rears and releases or transfers over 1 million coho salmon eggs or juvenile fish each year. 

But before Steward joined Quilcene NFH, he had a 20-year career with the United States Navy, serving from 1992 - 2012.  In 2001, while attached to VFA-22 on the USS CARL VINSON, he was part of the first strikes against the Taliban after the September 11th attacks.  "As an AO I have never worked so hard and saw so much ordnance in my life," Steward said. During his Navy career Steward made eight Western Pacific Deployments (WESTPACS) on five different Navy Aircraft Carriers (CV's and CVN's) and countless training detachments. His most recent deployment in 2011 involved supporting Enduring Freedom after providing humanitarian support to Japan after the Tohoku earthquake and following Tsunami.  His previous commands primarily consisted of F/A-18 Hornets out of Lemoore and China Lake, California.

He retired as an Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer (AOC) from the USS RONALD REAGAN earlier in 2012.

With retirement coming, Steward set out to find a job at a job fair sponsored by Naval Base Kitsap, where he happened to talked with Brian Lawlor, a Diversity Employment Specialist for the Service and fellow naval veteran.  "I have always been intrigued by the Fish and Wildlife service.  Growing up in Iowa, I saw a lot of wildlife,” said Steward. “I have thought about this type of job in the back of mind since I was a kid." 

Transitioning from Navy life to a job in the Service has been pretty smooth for Steward. “Aviation Ordnancemen are a very tight knit and team oriented group,” says Steward. “Quilcene National Fish Hatchery is very much the same type [of place].  We depend on each other to get the job done and can count on the guy next to you, just like in the Navy.”

The Pacific Region Division of Fishery Resources is proud to have an employee like Mike Steward on our team, and glad he is one of many veterans that work in our Region’s National Fish Hatcheries, our Fish Health Centers, Abernathy Fish Technology Center, Fishery Resource Offices, and our Regional Office. We salute the men and women who served our country with as much dedication as they now serve our trust resources.


Last updated: November 09, 2012

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