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Los Angeles Native Celebrates Black History Month Aboard USS Dewey > US Department of Defense > Story

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Los Angeles Native Celebrates Black History Month Aboard USS Dewey > US Department of Defense > Story

Los Angeles native, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Trina Gray, is assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey, forward deployed to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, which is currently conducting operations routine underway in the South China Sea.

Gray has served in the Navy for more than 16 years since arriving in 2005 as a journeyman machinist or auxiliary mechanic. She changed her position to operations specialist in 2009. She is now the chief petty officer of the Operations Intelligence Division aboard the Dewey and is responsible for mentoring and training 29 sailors in their day-to-day duties as operations specialists . They are tasked with defending the ship against air, surface, and subterranean threats, as well as identifying and classifying all surface and subterranean ships.

“His leadership and management skills are top notch,” said Chief Petty Officer Geraldo Anzaldo, chief petty officer of the operations department. “She leads a tight division and excels in developing our future leaders. [Gray] ensures that his team is fully qualified and that maintenance is underway, which improves our combat readiness.”

In addition to Gray’s day-to-day responsibilities as an operations specialist at the Combat Information Center, she has collateral duties that keep her busy. One of these collateral duties is the NCO’s berth, where she is responsible for assigning personnel to ensure that the berth (where many sailors sleep) is clean and that equipment is stowed properly. to maintain order and security. She is also the coordinator of the cultural committee, leading a team of sailors in planning cultural heritage celebrations each month, including Black History Month in February.

“I’ve made celebrating Black History Month a priority for the past few years,” Gray said. “This is an opportunity to share experiences with all of America, or anyone interested. This has been an opportunity for me to learn more about the influences, contributions and history that some black people have brought to America and the world. It’s about giving thanks for those contributions and sacrifices that have been made to make America a better place, even though there’s still work to be done. It’s a celebration of uniqueness, art, history, heritage and culture.

For this month of February, the Dewey’s Cultural Committee is displaying images of influential black service members around the ship with a brief history of their accomplishments to celebrate the impact others have had in the military.

“Our purpose in our research is to enlighten others, and in doing so, we enlighten ourselves,” Gray added. “He shares the belief that even if you are different, even if you are a minority, you can have an impact big enough to impact the future of the military.”

Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Gray describes it as “rough around the edges” and says she rarely ventures outside the area. She joined the navy to earn money for college, but earned much more than that.

“My favorite part of the Navy is building relationships,” Gray added. “You meet people from all over the world; you learn about their upbringing and experiences. Our different experiences make us a more efficient navy. »

Included in those celebrated during Black History Month that made history, Gray said several of her mentors and friends aboard the Dewey had been hugely positive influences on her – helping her settle in command, providing him with insight and direction, and assisting him with command guarantees .

“I’m inspired by people who give selflessly, continually and don’t ask for anything in return,” Gray said. “I look at these people with awe and curiosity, like, ‘how do you exist in our world?'”

(Petty Officer 1st Class Lewis is with Commander Task Force 71 / Destroyer Squadron 15)