Hawai‘i Pacific University Military
Campus Program student and Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class
(SS) Rudy Eddins was eating dinner at home when his supervisor
phoned to tell him that he was selected as Pearl Harbor Naval
Shipyard’s Junior Sailor of the Year for 2006.
I didn’t believe him, so he had to go get the command
master chief on the phone,” recalled Eddins, the shipyard’s
assistant command fitness leader.
I was very surprised,” he said. “I didn’t
know ahead of time that I was even nominated.”
The Rockwall, Texas, native said he joined the Navy a little
over six years ago because he wanted to do something better
with his life. Eddins was stationed at the Hawai‘i
Shipyard in January 2005.
Eddins, who is a supervisory leadership major, leads the
Shipyard’s Fitness Enhancement Program, coordinates
nutritional classes, and conducts monthly Physical Readiness
Test briefings to newly assigned shipyard sailors. He also
supervises rigorous morning and afternon workout sessions
Monday through Thursday.
Pedro Valdez, operator of Navy TV2 with Navy Region Hawai‘i
Public Affairs, is a regular participant in Eddins’ 5:30
a.m. physical fitness class at Bloch Arena Gym. He said he
enjoys the energy that Eddins brings to the workout session.
It’s a good way to start the day, and I intend to continue
as long as I can bear it and stay in shape,” said Valdez.
About four years ago, Eddins was asking himself if being
in the Navy was his best career path. Eddins credits his
selection as Junior Sailor of the Year to the influence of
his mentor, World War II veteran Jim Vernon Johnson.
Johnson, who was a submarine torpedoman stationed at Pearl
Harbor during the Dec. 7 attack, had a lot of stories to
share with Eddins.
Hearing him talk about his experiences made me feel really
proud about being in the Navy,” Eddins said of the
man who inspired him to stay in the Navy. “We both
are submarine torpedomen and stationed at Pearl Harbor. It
is almost like he passed the torch to me.”
In addition to his fitness duties at work, Eddins made sure
he gave back to the community. He has volunteered as a security
force for the March of Dimes event and assisted in the last
chance swim meet hosted by Pearl Harbor Aquatics Swim Club.
Eddins was due to graduate from HPU in May 2007 with an associates
degree, and he said he would like to enter an officer training
program in the future.