USS Gravely Crew Reflects on Accomplishments of Ship’s Namesake

130211-N-BY172-221 NORFOLK (Feb. 11, 2012) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (DDG 107) gets underway from Naval Station Norfolk on its first operational deployment. Gravely is en route to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility to participate in ballistic missile defense escort operations. Gravely is named for Vice Adm. Samuel L. Gravely, the first African-American in the U.S. Navy to command a warship, achieve flag officer rank, and command a U.S. Navy fleet. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William E. Blake/Released)

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William E. Blake/Released)

 

The crew of the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely left Naval Station Norfolk today on their first operational deployment. Gravely is en route to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility to participate in ballistic missile defense escort operations.

The ship is named after VADM Samuel L. Gravely, the first African-American in the U.S. Navy to command a warship, achieve flag officer rank, and to command a U.S. Navy fleet.

We asked Gravely’s crew what it meant to deploy forward aboard a ship named for a distinguished African American naval officer during African-American History Month. These are some of the responses.