An Oakdale, California native and 2014 East Stanislaus High School graduate, Fireman Samuel Miller is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS O’Kane.
Miller works as a damage controlman aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy damage controlman is responsible for making sure all of the firefighting equipment and systems are maintained and ready for use.
“The best thing about my job is the rush of adrenaline you get from firefighting,” said Miller.
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.
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 maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.
“I love being stationed here because of all of the great people I get to work with on a regular basis and I love being in Hawaii,” said Miller.
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 military is a family tradition, so I am proud to do my part for my country and family,” added Miller.