WHS Grad Serves Aboard Navy Warship In Mayport

Chief Petty Officer Justin Anderson.

Chief Petty Officer Justin Anderson, a 2002 graduate of Wellington High School, serves aboard the USS Lassen, a U.S. Navy warship operating out of Mayport, Florida.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those he found growing up in the Wellington area.

“My hometown taught me persistence and patience,” Anderson said. “There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I learned growing up how to get through the bad days and persevere.”

Anderson joined the Navy 17 years ago. Today, he serves as a fire controlman.

“I joined the Navy for better opportunities,” Anderson recalled. “I was living with my mom, went to the different branches for recruitment, and I thought the Navy would be a good fit because of the fire controlman rating.”

A Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.

More than 300 sailors serve aboard Lassen. Their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.

“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Adm. Lisa Franchetti, chief of Naval Operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”

Anderson has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during his military service.

“I’m most proud of my involvement in the Maersk Alabama, capturing the ship back from the pirates off the coast of Africa,” Anderson said. “On my second deployment, we rescued 11 people back from Somalian pirates.”

Anderson serves a Navy that operates far forward, around the world and around the clock, promoting the nation’s prosperity and security.

“I get to mentor and teach people to understand how things work and be the best they can be,” Anderson said. “Whether they’ve made one tour or many, I help sailors make decisions to accomplish the mission.”

Anderson is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank Senior Chief Kyle Seager, Command Master Chief Jason Kutsch, Senior Chief Jessica Featherall, Richard Helle, Senior Chief Danny Lara and Senior Chief (retired) Miah Lockhart,” Anderson said. “Kyle Seager and Miah helped me become the chief I am now. Jason, Jessica and Danny are all mentors and have helped me out whenever I needed it. Richard Helle, my grandfather, has always been there to support me.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here