USS Midway Museum volunteers continue to shine in the first quarter of 2022. As the museum’s attendance increases, our volunteer corps has been more critical to ensuring an engaging guest experience. 

It is with great pride that we highlight Midway’s Volunteers of the Month for the first quarter of 2022. 

Derek Jensen, Docent – January 2022

While Derek has only been volunteering for Midway since 2020, he hit the deck running and hasn’t slowed down.

Derek in no stranger to hard work and is thrilled to be part of the Midway team. A retired lieutenant commander and former chief aviation boatswain’s mate, he spent 23 years of his career on sea duty and served on five different aircraft carriers. He also made an astounding 14 Western Pacific deployments while in the Navy.

In just a little over two years, Derek has amassed more than 1,600 volunteer hours on Midway. He quickly became a docent-of-the-watch and is now a member of the docent training crew. He is one of the up-and-coming leaders in the docent corps.

“Derek is one of our superstars who is exceptionally knowledgeable about aircraft carrier operations, very personable and a favorite of our guests because of his entertaining sea stories,” said Jim Reily, Midway’s docent program director. “He brings the Midway alive for visitors.”

Troy Prince, Curatorial – February 2022

A former Midway sailor, Troy joined the museum’s library team in 2020. However, he has been researching all things Midway for more than 30 years, and in 1998, started the website “MidwaySailor.org” where he shares various photos, documents and Midway history.

Troy is an accomplished researcher, searching the national archives and collecting and verifying data from various websites and social media sites. He then provides the museum’s library the material where it can be documented and shared. He has become one of the library’s principal researchers.

A long-distant volunteer, Troy does all his work from his home in Minnesota.

“Troy’s reputation has surpassed curatorial boundaries and he has recently been asked to assist with the preparation of the next docent manual,” said Pat Alderman, a fellow volunteer Midway research librarian. “He is becoming a ship-wide asset. Troy is truly exceptional and a one-of-a-kind resource.”

Gary Jasinski, Group Projects and Docent – March 2022

Little did Gary realize that when he was holding his retirement ceremony on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum in 2005, that he would be back as a volunteer nearly 15 years later.

Since coming back on board in 2019, Gary has accumulated more than 2,500 volunteer hours and taken a lead role in the volunteer office as a group projects manager. 

He has coordinated hundreds of meaningful volunteer projects for active duty, corporate, civic, school, and social groups that have been of tremendous benefit to Midway. These groups have painted the ship’s brows, scraped and resurfaced areas on the flight deck, cleaned the tour routes, washed airplanes and have even done a sailor’s favorite job – scrubbing and waxing decks. 

“Gary’s leadership has been exemplary,” said Steve Suslik, Midway’s safety operations specialist and volunteer coordinator. “His experience as a master chief is especially useful with the young active-duty military groups who volunteer with us on weekends. They have an opportunity to gain a better understanding of their military careers directly from someone who experienced it firsthand before them.” 

“The volunteer program is the cornerstone of the museum. They make up the majority of our team and cover assignments in almost every department from behind the scenes to frontline ambassadors.”

Laurie Switzer, director of volunteer programs

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