News: Secretary of the Navy re-enlists Sailors and throws first pitch at baseball game
Story by Petty Officer 3rd Class Drew Verbis
PHOENIX – The 75th secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), Ray Mabus, conducted the oath of enlistment to five Sailors during a special re-enlistment ceremony at a Major League Baseball game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Philadelphia Phillies at Chase Field April 25. Following the re-enlistment, Mabus threw out the first ceremonial pitch to start the game.
“This was a tremendous honor to be re-enlisted by the SECNAV,” said Navy Builder 3rd Class Nathanial Patterson. “It just felt amazing, and the experience is difficult to put into words. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
After Mabus administered the oath of re-enlistment, he talked to each Sailor individually and presented them with a SECNAV challenge coin.
“It’s not every day that most Sailors get a chance to speak with the SECNAV,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Daniel Troxell. “We had a good chat about the Pacific Northwest, the Washington area (where I’m from), and he said he enjoys traveling to that area. I appreciate him taking the time to talk to us.”
The Sailors each expressed their own reasons for re-enlisting.
“I had mixed emotions during the re-enlistment,” Troxell said. “I want the Navy to be a career. Maybe one day I’ll be a master chief. I would hope that re-enlisting with the SECNAV is a good start at this. It was an impressive moment.”
Navy Sonar Technician (submarine) 1st Class Nicolas Curry was re-enlisting for the last time.
“I’ve done this before, glad to be doing it now, but having the SECNAV here for my last one is special,” said Curry. “It’s like the icing on the cake.”
Following the oath of re-enlistment, Mabus took the mound to throw the ceremonial first pitch in front of 28,000 fans. This wasn’t the first time Mabus put his baseball skills to the test. He also threw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game in April 2013, a San Diego Padres game in September 2012 and a Milwaukee Brewers game in September 2011.
“Good arm, he had a nice pitch,” Patterson said.
The Diamondbacks ended up defeating the Phillies 5-4.
The SECNAV was in Arizona to honor the community of Yuma in an official naming ceremony for the United States Naval Ship Yuma and to speak about the maritime perspective of global energy and sustainability to an audience at Arizona State University.
For more news from the Secretary of the Navy, visit www.navy.mil/local/secnav or www.facebook.com/SecretaryoftheNavy.
Learn more about Navy Public Affairs Support Element West at http://www.navy.mil/local/nrpacensd/ or visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy or www.twitter.com/usnavy.