A Bothell, Washington, native and 2012 Bothell High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Decatur.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Henry is an electrician’s mate aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.
A Navy electrician’s mate is responsible for making sure there is power throughout the ship.
Henry credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Bothell.
“I am from a big sports town, so early on I learned the importance of teamwork,” said Henry. “It has allowed me to fit into the team here and prepared me for working as part of a diverse team.”
More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignment that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.
“The success of the Decatur is due to the dedication and ownership each member of the crew feels towards making Decatur the best ship on the waterfront,” said Cmdr. Bob Bowen, commanding officer of USS Decatur. “Our team is always ready to accomplish the mission because of the commitment each sailor has to maintaining high standards and sound shipboard operating principles. Every team member knows their roles and responsibilities and does their part to ensure success.”
Destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. They are 510 feet long and armed with tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, Standard Missile-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family, advanced gun systems and close-in gun systems. Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the precondition for everything else the Navy does. It cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.
The ship has anti-aircraft capability armed with long range missiles intended for air defense to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles.
Unique experiences build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions, according to Navy officials. 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.
While serving in the Navy may present many challenges, Henry has found many great rewards.
Henry is also proud of earning Sailor of the Month in December 2015.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Henry and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I am proud that I am able to provide security for my family back home while gaining experiences that will better me personally and professionally,” added Henry.