USS Chafee rings eight bells for Navy

USS Chafee Sailors cut a cake to commemorate the Navy’s 237th birthday.

Story and photo by Ensign Caitlin Smith

USS Chafee (DDG 90) Public Affairs Officer

Sailors aboard USS Chafee (DDG 90) tolled the bell at 9 a.m. Oct. 12 on the forecastle of Chafee nine times to commemorate the 237th birthday of the U.S. Navy. While the Navy’s birthday is typically celebrated on the Oct. 13, this year it was arranged so that on the morning of the Oct. 12, ship and shore commands worldwide would ring the birthday bells in concert.

Accompanied by a traditional naval ceremony, ringing the bell eight times signifies the end of the watch and represents the end of the current birthday year. A final single bell was then struck to signify the start of a new watch, representing the Navy’s 238th year.

“It is a day to be proud of what you do and where you come from,” said Cmdr. Justin Kubu, Chafee commanding officer. Kubu discussed historical battles at sea and pointed out why the Navy’s birthday should be important to each Sailor.

“It isn’t the ships, it’s the Sailors who fought on the ships. And while you may never see a battle firsthand, you are each a Sailor of this great history and heritage. Be proud of where you came from,” Kubu said.

`The ceremony concluded with the oldest and youngest crew members cutting a cake prepared by Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Yinug. Chafee’s oldest crew member is Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Ceasar Nucum, whose hometown is the Philippines and has served in the Navy since May 1990. The crew’s youngest member is Seaman Anyela Valdez who joined the Navy in January 2012 and hails from Central Falls, R.I.

Coincidentally, a mere five days after the Navy’s birthday is the birthday of Chafee. On Oct. 18, Chafee will celebrate her ninth anniversary of commissioned service. The crew will commemorate the occasion with a small ceremony, and of course, a birthday cake.

Chafee is the 40th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer and was built by Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine. She was named after the late Rhode Island Sen. John Hubbard Chafee.

Sen. Chafee served in the Marines during World War II and the Korean War and was elected Secretary of the Navy in 1969.

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Category: News