PEARL HARBOR – A Tulsa, Oklahoma, native and 2010 Union High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Halsey. Petty Officer 2nd Class Jack Todd is an aegis fire controlman aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy aegis fire controlman is responsible for managing and maintaining the air defense radar for the Aegis Weapon System.
“I would encourage people in my hometown to go and see the world,” said Todd. “Take the chance to learn and explore what lies outside of your normal area. For me, the Navy has given me that opportunity.”
More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignment that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.
Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.
“Our sailors in Pearl Harbor are doing an excellent job at warfighting and supporting the warfighter,” said Cmdr. Hurd, chief staff officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “Historically, Pearl Harbor is a symbolic base of sacrifice and resiliency. Today, on every Navy ship and shore facility’s flag pole, the First Navy Jack, ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ flies reminding sailors to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy.”
Navy guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission ships that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea, Navy officials explained. They are equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches and drills. Serving aboard a guided-missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.
“Even though I am the first in my family to serve in the military, I knew that serving was for me,” said Todd. “I enjoy working with a team with an important mission. I get to see stuff people don’t see every day, which keeps it interesting and exciting.”
Todd is also proud of earning two Navy Achievement Medals for having a role in missile exercises during pre-deployment cycles and for search and rescue efforts.
“Being recognized makes me feel like my hard work paid off,” said Todd.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Todd and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means an opportunity to provide leadership to my shipmates and doing my part to ensure that everyone gets home safe,” added Todd.