A 2009 Berkeley High School graduate, 2019 American Military University graduate and Moncks Corner, South Carolina, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Halsey.
Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Johnson works as a Navy operations specialist aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Johnson credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Moncks Corner.
“My neighborhood of Longridge taught me how to work hard and impact those I meet,” said Johnson. “Leave a legacy!”
Halsey measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.
Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship's company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.
As a Navy operations specialist, Johnson is responsible for tracking surface vessels and aircraft around the ship.
According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required war-fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Johnson is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Johnson is most proud of earning four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and advancing to petty officer first class, as well as earning an associate's degree in computer applications.
“I was named Sailor of the Year for sustained superior performance,” said Johnson.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Johnson and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the military has given me the opportunity to travel,” added Johnson. “I think traveling is the most important form of education.”