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Oakdale Native Serves Aboard Navy Warship
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Oakdale High School graduate, Seaman Apprentice Shane Humphrey, serves the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of Everett, Washington. Photo By Lt. Cmdr. Jake Joy/Navy Office Of Community Outreach

Seaman Apprentice Shane Humphrey, a native of Oakdale, California, serves the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of Everett, Washington.

Humphrey joined the Navy just over a year ago. Today, Humphrey serves as a logistics specialist aboard USS Sampson based in Everett, Washington.

“I was looking for travel and a sense of purpose,” said Humphrey.

He attended Oakdale High School and graduated in 2020. Today, Humphrey uses skills and values similar to those found in Oakdale.

“Growing up I learned the importance of grit and social ability,” said Humphrey. “When I first moved to Oakdale, I had to learn to work hard and was helped out by other people to become more social.”

These lessons have helped Humphrey while serving aboard USS Sampson.

A Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.

More than 300 sailors serve aboard USS Sampson. Their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.

Serving in the Navy means Humphrey is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy provides international security and aid through constant travel around the world,” said Humphrey.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

Humphrey and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I appreciate the BZ (job well-done) for the hard work I’ve done on the ship,” said Humphrey.

As Humphrey and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions to support national defense, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy makes me feel like I’m doing something greater than myself,” added Humphrey.