2017-06-28 / Front Page

Millen native serves aboard Navy warship homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

by Kayla Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach


A Millen, Georgia native and 2005 Jenkins County High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marvel Drummer, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Michael Murphy. 
(Photo contributed) A Millen, Georgia native and 2005 Jenkins County High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marvel Drummer, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Michael Murphy. (Photo contributed) A Millen, Georgia native and 2005 Jenkins County High School graduate, Petty Officer 2nd Class Marvel Drummer, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Michael Murphy.

Drummer works as a gunner's mate aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A Navy gunner's mate is responsible for the up keep and maintenance of the missile systems.

“With my job, I like knowing that if something were to happen we would be the ones to protect the ship,” said Drummer.

With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on U.S. partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.

“Service at sea onboard a Navy destroyer is an incredible experience,” said Cmdr. Robert A. Heely Jr., Commanding Officer of USS Michael Murphy. “The extraordinary performance of Michael Murphy is made possible by the sailors that man her on a daily basis. Team Murphy is comprised of 350 talented sailors from across our country. They are all resilient and dedicated professionals, who strive each and every day to uphold the strong legacy of our namesake, Lt. Michael P. Murphy. I'm proud of their teamwork and commitment to the mission.”

Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. They do everything from to maintain- ing gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.

“I love the people aboard the ship,” said Drummer. “We meet a lot of good people in the Navy. I was excited to be able to serve on the Michael Murphy cause I saw the movie first, so it really means something for me.”

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.

“Serving in the Navy gives me a peace of mind that we are doing something helpful for the rest of the world so that everyone else can have normal lives,” added Drummer.

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