Navy Week is an outreach program conducted by the Navy Office of Community Outreach. Since 2005, the program has scheduled events in as many as 15 communities anualy with a focus on areas that do not have a significant Navy presence.
In this episode we talk with four sailors participating in the year’s activities. To see if there is a Navy week coming to your community or one nearby, visit the NAVCO website.
Lt. Mike Miller is a public affairs officer with NAVCO. He shares the goal of “deploying to” communities that aren’t “Navy towns” to make them more aware and familiar with this branch. The types of assets participating in a Navy Week event often are determined by whether the city has a “namesake” relationship with a ship. A variety of units such as SEALs, bands, EOD personnel and the Blue Angels aerial demonstration team are featured at these events.
Lt. Commander Bruce Mansfield is the bandmaster for Navy Band Southwest based out of San Diego. The 45 member organization features various ensembles including a ceremonial band, woodwind/brass quintets and even a rock band. They average 600 performances a year. Mansfield encourages young persons to consider that they could have a military career in the as musicians and provide “service through music.”
Engineman Samuel Peirce serves aboard the USS Gabrielle Giffords, a littoral combat ship. It is named after former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who narrowly survived an assassination attempt and only the 13th ship to be named after a living person. Samuel is proud of his critical role maintaining the engines that keeps the ship moving.
Diver 2nd Class Skylar Bokeman grew up in the desert and figured the Navy would be a great opportunity to get near the water. Navy Divers are trained in a diverse set of skills and can dive anywhere in the world and in any environment. They are often paired with Special Forces units. “If it’s lost we’ll find it, if it’s sunk we will bring it up.”