Lawton Native serves aboard Navy warship in San Diego
A native of Lawton, Oklahoma, serves the U.S. Navy aboard USS Boxer, operating out of San Diego.
2nd Class Sang Kim, Navy Public
Affairs Support Element West
Petty Officer 3rd Class Donnae Guzman, a 2018 MacArthur Senior High School graduate, joined the Navy four years ago.
“I joined the Navy because I was curious about what the military could provide,” said Guzman. “Several of my friends in high school were joining so I checked out the benefits and the potential jobs and then joined.”
Today, Guzman serves as a retail specialist.
Guzman is responsible for the paperwork and the money for the ship's departments and interior stores, similar to being an accountant or bookkeeper in the civilian world.
Guzman relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Lawton to succeed in the military.
“My parents taught me that hard work pays off,” said Guzman. “In the military, if you work hard you will be recognized and promoted.”
USS Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that has recently returned from a Western Pacific-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf deployment. She is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name of the original HMS Boxer, which was captured from the British during the War of 1812.
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 percent of the world’s beaches.
Serving in the Navy means Guzman is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy deploys personnel and assets around the world at a moment's notice to protect our national interest,” said Guzman.
More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.
Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
“The Surface Force will continue to meet the challenge of strategic competition and respond to the realities of the modern security environment,” said Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener. “ Our efforts are critical to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression and win wars.”
Sailors like Guzman have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest moment was when I got my second Navy Achievement Medal which was presented to me by a command that I was temporarily attached to,” said Guzman. “It was rewarding to get recognized for my hard work.”
As Guzman and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means representing our country with pride,” added Guzman. “I am a representative of the Navy core values, and it makes me proud.”
[release] [Capt. David Russell, Navy Office of Community Outreach]