Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Selectees 
PACFIC OCEAN - Aug. 5, 2013 - Chief Petty Officer (CPO) Selectees from the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) sponsored a commemoration ceremony to honor the 149th anniversary of the historic battle and ship's namesake.
Mobile Bay CPO Selectees Commemorate Anniversary of Namesake Battle 
USS MOBILE BAY, At Sea – Monday August 5, 2013 marked a historic date in naval history: the 149th Anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the USS MOBILE BAY Chief Petty Officer Selectees hosted an event onboard in commemoration of this historic battle.

The Battle of Mobile Bay was a key union victory during the Civil War. Thoroughly ensconced on the banks of Mobile Bay, the Confederates occupied three key forts to defend what was the last remaining port on the Gulf of Mexico. Mobile Bay marked the entrance to the mouths of both the Mobile and Tensaw Rivers, which were used by Confederate blockade runners to supply Confederate troops, following the capture of the Port of New Orleans by Union forces.

Admiral David G. Farragut led the Union Navy to defeat this last Confederate stronghold, despite the Confederates’ superior defenses. The Confederates had mined the entrance to the harbor with ‘torpedoes’ to funnel any attackers into range of their artillery from Forts Morgan, Gaines, and Powell. In a bold assault, Admiral Farragut led the charge of Union Navy ships with his famous battle cry “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” He led his charge straight through the channel between mines, despite the artillery from the forts. The Union Navy surprised and overwhelmed the vulnerable Confederate Navy vessels nestled deeper within the harbor. Despite the iron hulls of the Confederate vessels, the wooden hulled Union fleet defeated the Confederates, securing the harbor and effectively cutting off supplies from reaching Confederate ground forces.

To commemorate the namesake battle, MOBILE BAY’s five Chief Petty Officer Selectees planned and organized a heritage ceremony to educate the crew on the history of the Battle of Mobile Bay, highlighting its significance as a turning point in the Civil War. BMC (SEL) Aaron C. Miller, FCC (SEL) Brian S Mueller, STGC (SEL) Brad E. Cecil, CSC (SEL) McLouie A. Salvador, and GMC (SEL) Brandi T. Hilliman worked together seamlessly to host a fantastic event. The heritage ceremony featured a slideshow of the history of the Battle of Mobile Bay and a delicious Civil War themed cake prepared by one of MOBILE BAY’s newest Culinary Specialists, Seaman Galvan.

All Sailors onboard, even those familiar with MOBILE BAY’s rich heritage, enjoyed the celebration immensely. FC2 Puga, a Sailor from CG Division who has been onboard for one year, still enjoyed hearing the details of the key battle. “MOBILE BAY’s heritage celebration rekindled my love of history and reaffirmed my desire to one day become a high school history teacher.”

The heritage celebration was also an opportunity to celebrate MOBILE BAY’S Chief Petty Officer Selectees and showcase their important career milestone. The entire MOBILE BAY family is proud of their CPO Selectees – their collective passion and experience will ensure continued success as they take on new leadership responsibilities. BMC (SEL) Aaron C. Miller, from Slidell, Louisiana, has served 12 years in Navy with his past four onboard MOBILE BAY. FCC (SEL) Brian S. Mueller, from Garden Grove, California, has served 13 years in the Navy, with three onboard MOBILE BAY. CSC (SEL) McLouie A. Salvador, from Baguie City, Philippines, has served nine years in the Navy with one year on MOBILE BAY. STGC (SEL) Brad E. Cecil, from St. Louis, Missouri, has served 19 years in the Navy with the past 8 months onboard. GMC (SEL) Brandi T. Hilliman, from Starkville Mississippi, has served 14 years in the Navy with the past four years onboard. HOOYAH Chief Petty Officer Selectees!

This heritage ceremony marked the beginning of a one week underway following three months in port after the ship’s return in April from two back to back deployments to the Fifth and Seventh Fleet areas of responsibility. The underway proved to be an excellent opportunity to conduct scheduled training exercises and ship sustainment to maintain combat readiness. The MOBILE BAY heritage ceremony was a wonderful event to build camaraderie, celebrate our proud history, and acknowledge MOBILE BAY’S Chief Petty Officer Selectees’ fantastic accomplishments!
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