USS Peleliu Honors Sailors, Past and Present 
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jasmine Sheard  
PACIFIC OCEAN - The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) commemorated the Battle of Midway June 2 with a wreath laying ceremony followed by frocking newly-promoted petty officers.

The ceremony honored the fallen Sailors that fought during the Battle of Midway, which is known as the turning point in the pacific during World War II.

During the battle, U.S. Navy carrier strike forces defeated an Imperial Japanese navy carrier task force.

Capt. James Cox, commanding officer of Peleliu, addressed the crew about the heroic efforts made by the sailors who served at the battle. Cox then laid a wreath to the sea as Taps played over the sound system while the crew reflected on a moment of silence.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, which took place June 4-7, 1942.

More than 183 Battle of Midway commemoration events will be held around the world, to include wreath laying ceremonies in all Navy regions and at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

After the tribute to the past Sailors, Peleliu celebrated the present by frocking 192 petty officers.

"This is the happiest moment in my life," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Joshua Becker. "I've accomplished something that I have strived for. I love my rate and love what I do and now I'm leading all E-3 and below in my department."

Just over 50% of Peleliu Sailors, who participated in the March 2012 Navy wide advancement exam, were promoted. The average for promotion from Navy commands was about 40%.

"Getting frocked is an achievement because it's something I have been working hard towards," said Yeoman 2nd Class Christina Shell. "It's bittersweet. Bitter because I have more responsibility as a second class, but sweet because of the pay increase. I'm closer to my goal in the Navy, which is to be successful and lead others."

Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, currently underway for PHIBRON-MEU Integrated Training (PMINT) in the Pacific Ocean.

The Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group consists of amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5), amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 46) and amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20). The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is embarked.
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