June 17, 2002
CHS grad receives of Wings of Gold
In a ceremony held in the Naval Air Museum at NAS Pensacola, Ensign Michael R. Beard of Duvall received his Naval Flight Officer's wings.
His wings were pinned by his friend Andrea Oestreich and his father Jack Beard, both of Duvall. In an earlier ceremony, Father Tran, Chaplain of NAS Pensacola, blessed the wings of all class members.
During this ceremony, Beard also received his aviator's call sign.
Because of his uncanny resemblance to the actor who portrays Naval Commander Harmon Raab in the TV series, "JAG," his call sign is HARM.
This call sign will follow him throughout his career and is the name by which he will be known in the service community.
This ceremony culminated 14 months of intensive training covering all aspects of modern jet warfare and included several hundred hours of actual flight time, classroom work and numerous simulations in modern SIM trainers.
Beard joined the Navy as an enlisted person shortly after he graduated from Cedarcrest in 1994. After basic and advanced training as an aircrew member, he competed for and received an appointment to the Naval Academy Prep School in Newport, R.I.
Upon graduation he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. He graduated from Annapolis with the class of 2000 and went on to Pensacola for NFO training.
Ensign Beard was selected to fly the EA-6B Prowler and has been assigned to NAS Whidbey Island where all Prowler squadrons are currently located.
After some additional training at Whidbey, he will be deployed to a Carrier Air Wing.
Ensign Beard anticipates a promotion to Lieutenant Junior Grade (Lt. J.G.) soon.
He hopes to make his home in the Pacific Northwest in spite of overseas and aircraft carrier deployments.