Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Stokes

Navy Petty Officer Michael Stokes serves aboard USS Nitze

Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Stokes, from Rochester, N.Y., is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s most versatile multi-mission combat ships, the Norfolk-based destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94). USS Nitze (DDG 94) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, protecting and defending America on the world’s oceans. Tens of thousands of young American men and women are deployed around the world doing just that, and they are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

USS Nitze is longer than 1.5 football fields long at nearly 510 feet long. The ship is 66 feet wide and weighs more than 9,200 tons. Twin gas turbine engines can push the ship through the water at more than 30 mph. Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Nitze. Approximately 31 officers and 284 enlisted men and women make up the ship’s company, which keeps all parts of the destroyer running smoothly — this includes everything from washing dishes and preparing meals to handling weaponry and maintaining the engines.

“I am proud and amazed by the knowledge they display and the work my Sailors do every day,” said Cmdr. Michelle Nakamura, the ship’s commanding officer. “Many very young people, some with only months of experience in the Navy, stood ready to sail and fight our ship in any situation. They performed exceptionally each and every day of our 7-plus month deployment and they continue to excel here at home. Their professionalism, motivation and commitment to the Navy are genuinely inspiring.”

Featured Photo caption: Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Stokes (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joshua Treadwell/Released)
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“Why Being There Matters”
On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea.  The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans.  Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that.  They are there now.  They will be there when we are sleeping tonight.  They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year.  They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

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