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NEWS | April 22, 2024

Profiles in Professionalism: CS1 Zachary Bishop

By LCDR Michael Byrd

Fleet Logistics Squadron (VR) One executes a unique mission as the only squadron in the Navy responsible for executive transport for the Secretary of the Navy, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Chief of Naval Operations as well as other senior military and congressional leadership. Flying a C-37B (Gulfstream G550), the crew consists of two pilots, one flight engineer and at the heart of the mission, one transport safety specialist (TSS). 

Known as “Flying CSs,” the transport safety specialist (TSS) is responsible for the safety and well-being of the passengers and aircraft, along with ensuring all passenger needs and desires are met.

Earning the designation of TSS is extremely competitive and demands the utmost skill, professionalism and dedication to the craft, both in the air and on the ground. Leading the charge at VR-1 is Culinary Specialist First Class Zachary Bishop. CS1 Bishop has served in the Navy for ten years. Upon arrival to VR-1, he qualified as TSS well ahead of squadron timelines. His dedication to the mission and excellence in the culinary arts were exemplified in his selection for the 2024 Navy Culinary Arts Team (NCAT).

“Making the team was a challenge. I was one out of the ten highly competitive firsts (classes) to actually make the team that tried out,” said Bishop.” Going into the tryout, you really have to focus on what you know and just maintain a positive attitude in the kitchen.”

NCAT is a team of competitive and talented culinary specialists selected on an annual basis. Selection for the team begins with Sailors preparing a three course meal using only items provided in a mystery basket. That meal is then critiqued by a panel of judges.

Not only was CS1 Bishop selected for NCAT, he was the only first class to make it out of ten applicants who applied and was selected as team captain. The final NCAT for this year consists of just 11 Sailors from duty stations throughout the Navy. After selection, the team traveled to Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., for a rigorous training. Over a 62-day course consisting of 14-hour work days.

The hard work and dedication of NCAT culminated March 2024 with the team winning one gold and one silver medal for best in show, four silver medals and five bronze medals.

“(This experience) gave me a chance to network and get my name out there to let people know who I am and what I am about,” exclaimed Bishop. “The opportunity also gave me more knowledge and experience with different cooking techniques and working with highly experienced Chefs that have been in the Navy more than 20 years.

Following the NCAT season, CS1 Bishop returned to VR-1. He is back on the flight schedule, continues to provide incredible service to our senior leaders in the Department of the Navy, and is busy training our next generation of VR-1 “Flying CSs”.