McCampbell Sailor Re-enlists on Mt. Fuji
Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman (SW) Declan Barnes, NPASE Japan
MT. FUJI, Japan – A Sailor assigned to the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) re-enlisted in a fashion that would impress any service member – at over 12,000 feet above sea level, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Watie Alberty said the oath at the top of the tallest mountain in Japan, Mt. Fuji, on Aug. 7.
The climb to the summit was extremely demanding, but the challenge of the hike made it all the more worth it, said Alberty.
“Not only was I able to say I reached the summit, but being able to re-enlist up there as well made it all a very rewarding and humbling experience for me,” said Alberty. “It was a perfect way to renew my oath to the Navy.”
Alberty’s re-enlistment was also McCampbell’s 50th re-enlistment of the year, making the ship a strong competitor to receive the U.S. 7th Fleet’s Golden Anchor Award for outstanding retention. Each fleet and major command of the Navy conducts a competition to recognize the ships, aircraft squadrons and shore installations that do the best job of persuading Sailors to re-enlist at the end of their terms of service. This award is given annually, and McCampbell’s career counselor, Navy Counselor 1st Class Jaime Romero, is hoping to bring the anchor to his ship.
“McCampbell’s morale is excellent - our chain of command is always here for us, and we support each other no matter what,” said Romero. “This is why I am hoping for at least 15 more re-enlistments this year. Our goal is to get the Gold Anchor.”
Crewmembers from McCampbell made the trip to the infamous landmark as part of a Morale, Welfare and Recreation event while in their homeport of Yokosuka, Japan. McCampbell’s Chief Selects also took advantage of the trip and received valuable leadership training while climbing to the summit.
Alberty was excited and ready to continue to grow as a Sailor and make his ship proud.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where the next four years of service take me,” said Alberty. “My first four years have been nothing short of an amazing and outstanding experience, making valuable friends and seeing places I didn’t believe I would ever see.”
McCampbell is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan and assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 15, and is currently on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.