By Johnny Jackson
Stockbridge resident, Genaro Stewart, at 28 years old, is making noted steps through the ranks of the U.S. Navy.
Stewart, an intelligence specialist first class, recently was named the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command's (NAVCENT) Senior Sailor of the Quarter, for the first quarter of 2010.
"This award means a lot to me, because the candidates considered for it were some real hard-chargers that exemplified the command's highest caliber sailors," said Stewart, in a press statement.
Stewart has been in the Navy for nine years. He graduated in 2000, following four years as cadet in the Navy JROTC at Stockbridge High School. He leads a shop, of 83 sailors, that manages the analytical aspect of counter-piracy operations in the 5th Fleet area of responsibility, which encompasses some 2.5 million square miles of oceans and seas, and includes the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman, parts of the Indian Ocean, and 27 countries.
Stewart said his job entails a hefty use of analytical and problem-solving skills.
"I explained it to my 8-year-old cousin once, that it's a lot like Blues Clues, or Inspector Gadget," Stewart said. "It's all about fact-checking, and chasing clues to put together the bigger story, and ultimately, figure out the mystery."
His mother, Linda Stewart, recalls her son's sense of adventure and challenge at an early age. "He's the type of person that enjoys being challenged," she said. "He loves what he does. He grew up in a military family. So, he's been around the military all his life."
Linda Stewart, too, has a military background, an 18-year career as a U.S. Army Reservist Nurse. She also is a full-time, emergency-room nurse at Henry Medical Center in Stockbridge.
"I taught him values and morals, and to respect people," she said. "I tried to instill in him to think for himself. And whatever decisions he makes in life, he has to be aware that there are consequences in life."
Stewart's father is Rufus Stewart, District I McDonough City Councilman. "I feel great about [Genaro's] accomplishment," he said. "He was a kid that stayed focused. He's a real bright student, always full of ideas and questions. And his mother, she played a very important part in his life."
The Stewarts have not seen their son since he returned home last November for the Thanksgiving holidays. As a leading petty officer in the NAVCENT's Intelligence Department, Genaro Stewart serves as the president of the command's First Class Petty Officers Association.
"He is a level-headed, even-keeled sailor, who is well-respected throughout the intelligence community," said Lt. Cmdr. Rupert Hussey, Maritime Security Operations lead for NAVCENT's Intelligence Department. "Our leaders, who make decisions based on complete, concrete analysis, seek his consultation. His selection for Senior Sailor of the Quarter is well-deserved."
U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Jason Poplin contributed to this article.