At Sea - During the first week of USS CURTS’ 2012 deployment, the crew conducted a burial at sea ceremony, committing the cremated remains of deceased Navy and Army veterans into the deep blue.
The formal occasion was filled with pride and solemnity as the chain of command, both color and honor guards and the rifle detail stood at attention on the flight deck in their service dress whites.
The Executive Officer, CDR Pezzato was master of ceremonies and COMDESRON 23 Chaplain, LT Hogan, gave the prayer for the service. The seven-man rifle detail, led by STG1 (SW) George, fired three follies in unison for a traditional military funeral salute.
The eighteen-man honor guard, led by LTJG Monbleau, stood at parade rest for the majority of the ceremony. The color guard, HN Mozloom and SN Heiter did the same before an the ensign at half mast. EM2 (SW) Banzuela presented CDR Espinoza, the Commanding Officer, with the folded ensign as he receives it on behalf of the families of the deceased.
The ranks of the service members committed during the ceremony ranged from 3rd Class Petty Officers to Captains. The committal detail included LCDR Bondurant, ENS Striffler, OSC Rivera, BM3 Thammavangsa and BM3 Aguilar. They were assigned to escort the remains to the committal table, manned by LSSN Barnett and SN Quintanilla and then salute their fallen sailors or soldier as they enter the ocean.
The entire ceremony was carried out smoothly and respectfully. This was the first time for many of the personnel participating in the event. CMDMC Bernhardt, thanked everyone in the ceremony for the military bearing displayed. Several sailors expressed that it was a memorable event in their career and that they would volunteer for such an event again.