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    USS Oscar Austin Celebrates 244th Navy Birthday

    Oscar Austin Cake Cutting

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Milham | The oldest and youngest Sailors onboard, BMC Angelo Miranda and SN Jayden Watson,...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic

    With events aboard and at local schools, USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) Sailors recently celebrated the Navy’s 244th birthday.

    Aboard the guided-missile destroyer, the First Class Petty Officers Association kicked off the celebration with a remembrance of important naval history events and facts. Leading the way was discussion about the Battle of Leyte Gulf. This year, the Navy's birthday coincides with the 75th anniversary of the battle; this year’s theme, "No Higher Honor," is a quote from that naval action.

    Recounting the “greatest sea battle’s” service and sacrifice some time later, USS Samuel B. Roberts’ Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Copeland, said “there was no higher honor than having the privilege to command such a crew.”

    Following the naval history lesson, another naval tradition was celebrated in the cutting of the Navy birthday cake. It was cut with a sword, as a reminder that Sailors are warriors, committed to carrying arms to maintain peace in our nation.

    "There was a great turnout to the birthday celebration,” said Chief Sonar Technician (Surface) Chelsie Sampson. “I loved observing time-honored traditions and building camaraderie with my shipmates.”

    The oldest and youngest Sailors onboard, BMC Angelo Miranda and SN Jayden Watson, assisted their Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Wesley Brown, in cutting the cake. Miranda then passed a piece to Watson to represent the many years of experience that is passed from senior to junior Sailors.

    "I felt honored and humbled by the experience, to be part of the tradition and symbolism of it all," said Watson.

    "It was great and I felt honored being the eldest sailor,” added Miranda. “It is a privilege because Sailors can see where I have come from and where they have the potential to go with their own careers."

    The event culminated with the traditional singing of “Anchors Aweigh,” instilling additional Navy pride and camaraderie among the crew.

    A few days later, Oscar Austin Sailors were out in full force in the Chesapeake Public School District, with groups visiting Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, G. W. Carver Intermediate School, and Great Bridge Middle School. Sailors greeted students as they arrived for classes, helped produce morning announcements, and assisted in the classrooms throughout the day. They taught students about the history of the Navy, the Battle of Leyte Gulf and used the example of Oscar P. Austin’s extraordinary service and sacrifice to deliver this year’s birthday message of “No Higher Honor.”

    “This is such a great opportunity for our kids,” exclaimed Mrs. Wendy Harris, Sixth Grade Guidance Counselor at Great Bridge Middle School. “We have so many military families here that we really like to participate in events like this.”

    It wasn’t all fun and games though. The Sailors at G. W. Carver worked on beautifying school grounds, removing many fallen branches and trip hazards. Representing Oscar Austin’s engineering department, Gas Turbine Systems Technician Mechanical Third Class James Terrell rolled up his sleeves for the students there.

    “I really enjoyed this opportunity; I feel like when kids hear about the military it’s all about the Army or Air Force,” said said Terrell. “It was awesome to be able to share my experiences with today’s youth because before I joined, I really didn’t know anything about the Navy.

    “Hopefully some of the students we met today decide to join the Navy and enjoy it as much as I have.”

    The visiting Sailors also challenged the young students with Navy trivia. Fire Controlman Second Class Victor Espinoza led the DDG 79 delegation to Thurgood Marshall Elementary and rewarded their answers with Surface Force Navy water bottles, key chains, and similar items.

    The Oscar Austin effort not only celebrated the Navy’s 244th birthday but also supported the Navy’s commitment to the communities in which they serve.



    Date Taken: 10.11.2019
    Date Posted: 10.11.2019 16:53
    Story ID: 347553
    Location: US

    Web Views: 32
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