The recent retirement ceremony for a senior chief at Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116 had a twist at the end: a wedding proposal.
Senior Chief Aviation Maintenance Administrationman Alicia J. Koval ended her 26-year active duty career in the U.S. Navy during the Sept. 28 beachside ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu.
Immediately afterwards, her fiancé, Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician (ATCS) Robert Armer proposed to Koval. She accepted.
Raised in the state of Washington, Koval enlisted in September 1986 with aspirations of traveling the world. After graduating from Administrationman “A” School at Naval Technical Training Center Meridian, Miss., Koval served in Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 4 and later the Naval Air Test Center, where she maintained records for more than 65 aircraft comprised of 17 different models.
Koval has a bachelor’s degree in geological sciences from the University of Washington, and while assigned to Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department at Naval Air Station Brunswick, Me., she became the first active duty woman to receive the Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Award, which recognizes members for military leadership and community participation.
Koval has been with the VAW-116 Sun Kings since October 2008.
Her career included eight deployments both ashore and at sea, including two deployments to Sigonella, Italy.
Among those attending her retirement ceremony were her father and mother, Ted and Bonnie Koval; her sister, Heidi Koval; and her son, J.T. Armstrong.
“I have had a blast being in the Navy,” Koval said. “Yes, I am sad to leave the Navy, VAW-116 and the many Sailors I’ve mentored throughout my years, but I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life.”
Recent certified as a personal trainer, Koval plans to remain in the Southern California area, but ultimately, she intends to return to her home state of Washington.
“Senior Chief Koval has proven most vital to the Sun King team,” said VAW-116 Command Master Chief Domingo Soto. “Her influence and superb leadership have truly set the example of perfection for our Sailors to emulate.”