SECNAV visits ‘Amazing Grace’ on Thanksgiving

Story and photo by MC2 Kristina Young

USS Hopper (DDG 70) Public Affairs

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Robert V. Spencer and his wife, Sarah Pauline “Polly” Spencer, visited deployed Sailors stationed aboard the Ar-leigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG 70), on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 23.

While aboard, Spencer received a tour of the ship, offering him the ability to speak to Sailors on watch before heading out to the ship’s flight deck to address the rest of the crew and remind them how much their service means to the country.

“What the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps team represent is the deployed power to keep peace by presence, but [to also] deliver the fight tonight when called on,” Spencer said. “You are that team and you make me really proud.”

Spencer continued by acknowledging the sacrifice the Sailors before him make each and every day they serve their country.

“We just wanted to come out here and really just say thank you for what you do,” said Spencer as he addressed the crew. “[Thank you], not only from Polly and I, but from all your fellow Sailors and Marines who are on shore, all our civilian teammates, and your loved ones who you are away from.”

While speaking to the crew, Spencer discussed how the Navy and Marine Corps team can and will evolve over the next few years and then opened up the floor for questions.

“I felt very honored to talk to the SECNAV and receive the opportunity to engage in conversation with him,” said Yeoman 1st Class (AW) Anthony Olmos. “It was interesting to hear his take on the various questions Sailors wanted to know.”

During the all-hands call, Spencer also reen-listed eight of Hopper’s Sailors as well as made a special guest appearance in the ship’s spirit spot for the upcoming Army vs. Navy game.

“The great ship Hopper and her amazing crew were honored to have Secretary Spencer and his wife (Polly) spend part of their Thanksgiving with us,” said Cmdr. Jeffrey Tamulevich, Hopper ‘s commanding officer. “It was a privilege to show off one of Navy’s most lethal and capable warships to our Secretary of the Navy.”

Hopper is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.

For more information on Hopper, visit

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Category: News