Alumnus Earns 'Ambassador' Award Serving in Navy
Posted on 07/27/2018
Article originally appeared in July 12 edition of The Catholic Spirit
By Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Zahn

SASEBO, Japan - A Woodbridge native and 2011 graduate of Bishop George Ahr High School, Edison, is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS). 
Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyle Palasti is a mass communication specialist serving with the public affairs office at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, operating out of Sasebo, Japan. 
A Navy mass communication specialist is responsible for the re­lease of news and feature articles from personal interviews; messages; and witnessing of events. They tell the Navy's 􀀥tory through photographic, journalistic, and video graphic media products. 
"In New Jersey we have a wide range of cultural diversity, so I've carried what I learned from my hometown to respect and appreciate diversity and culture in the Navy," said Palasti. 
Palasti thus far is proud of being presented the Japan-America Ambassador award by the Japan-America Society for bridging the gap of the American and Japanese people. This award was given to him for his vol­unteer work teaching English to Japanese troops and college students. He did not expect the award but when he was given a plaque he felt proud to know he was appreciated.
Moments like· that make it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America's interests. With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a. third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy's presence Sasebo is part of that 
long-standing commitment explained Navy officials. 
"I think specifically being in the Navy in Japan is the best opportunity that I could have been given," said Palasti. "Being deployed here, it's great. It's a tight-knit community, everyone knows each other and is interested in what everyone else is doing." As a member of one of the U.S. Navy's most relied-upon assets, Palasti and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. 
"The Navy has given me leader­ship skills, patience and diligence," said Palasti. "I've become a better person and I've learned that I can carry some of these values and lessons with me not only in my Navy career but also in life." 
Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world's population with be­tween 50-70 U.S. ships and subma­rines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 40,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.