Honolulu, Hawaii - Shortly after the anniversary of our nation’s independence, HIGGINS was given even more reason to celebrate the commitment and dedication of her Sailors than usual. On our last day in port Pearl Harbor, Hawaii before heading out to sea for the next phase of the RIMPAC exercises, 12 of our sailors made the momentous decision to re-enlist in the Navy. The event was made even more memorable by taking place under the 16 inch 50 caliber Mk 7 guns onboard ex-battleship MISSOURI (BB-63).
The Sailors renewing their oaths to protect and defend our country were Machinery Repairman First Class Nathaniel Spencer, Ship’s Serviceman First Class Kareem Arnold, Electrician’s Mate First Class Myrick Magalso, Information Systems Technician First Class Andrew Sandoval, Damage Controlman Second Class Carlos Rodriguez, Electrician’s Mate Second Class Jefferson Bonnet, Logistics Specialist Second Class Yanbin Kuang, Sonar Technician Second Class Ryan Meehan, Gunner’s Mate Second Class Alejandro Guerrero, Gunner’s Mate Second Class Alejandro Fernandez, Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Javier Garza Jr. and Electrician’s Mate Third Class Salvador Ronquillo-Escobar.
All combined, these 12 men had honorable served for a total of 85 years and committed to another 62. Their reasons for initial enlistments and later re-enlistments are as diverse as the sailors themselves. LS2 Kuang wishes to continue to serve, improve himself and enjoy the opportunities provided by the Navy. EM3 Ronquillo-Escobar is staying because he enjoys his job and sees the opportunity to achieve his long term goals, including education, through longer service. EM1 Magalso enjoys the security the Navy provides while allowing him to serve his country and perform a job he loves. DC2 Rodriguez is also taking the opportunity to continue in a job he enjoys while being satisfied through his service. IT1 Sandoval is looking forward to the added bonuses that come with retirement from the service after being able to perform a job daily that he enjoys. STG2 Meehan is taking advantage of the educational opportunities that are available during service to work on obtaining his Master’s of Arts degree. Even though all the reasons are a little different, there is always the underlying desire to serve their country and keep the world safe for their families.
The photo speaks volumes and echoes the quote attributed to John Paul Jones that “men mean more than guns in the rating of a ship”. Many thanks to the Sailors and families on HIGGINS for their continued service to our Navy and our Nation.