Jamaican Juanita McCurdy-Davis, who serves aboard USS Boxer, homeported in San Diego, joined the US Navy three years ago.
The native of St Catherine, a graduate of Old Harbour High School and the Jamaica Theological Seminary, said she joined the Navy to become a better version of herself.
“…and that’s exactly what has happened,” said McCurdy-Davis. “I’ve become better in so many areas of my life. I’ve gotten an education and I support my family financially,” she is quoted by the Navy Office of Community Outreach as saying.
Today, Petty Officer 3rd Class McCurdy-Davis serves as a culinary specialist.
According to the Navy Office of Community Outreach, a culinary specialist is responsible for catering to the sailors’ nutritional needs and ensuring everyone gets a balanced, freshly prepared meal.
McCurdy-Davis relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in St Catherine to succeed in the military.
“Growing up, I learned to respect everyone regardless of our differences, which is a big part of working on a ship,” said McCurdy-Davis.
USS Boxer, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, was commissioned on February 11, 1995, and is the sixth US ship to bear the name. The ship recently completed a scheduled maintenance availability and is preparing for upcoming operations.
The crew has approximately 1,200 officers and enlisted personnel and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies and can support helicopters or other aircraft, according to Navy officials. They also are capable of accessing 75 per cent of the world’s beaches.
Serving in the Navy means the Jamaican is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernising capabilities, increasing capacities, and maintaining military readiness in support of the national defence strategy.
“We protect our country and our allies against threats and secure the maritime sea lanes,” said McCurdy-Davis.
More than 90 per cent of all trade travels by sea, and fibre optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 per cent of the world’s international phone and Internet traffic.
Navy officials continue to emphasise that the prosperity of the US and its security are directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
Sailors like McCurdy-Davis have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service, the Navy Office of Community Outreach said.
“I earned my associate’s degree in December 2020, and was promoted to petty officer third class three months later,” said McCurdy-Davis. “I’ve also earned my surface and aviation warfare pins while working on this ship.”
As McCurdy-Davis, who has hometown ties to Queens, New York, and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“To me, serving in the Navy means serving my fellow Americans,” added McCurdy-Davis. “It’s a privilege and an honour to do this work.”