Corner alumnus feeds Navy mates in Hawaii

Special to the Eagle
Posted 7/5/17

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii A West Jefferson native and 2014 Corner High School graduate, Petty Officer 3rd Class Franklin Cantrell, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Halsey.

Cantrell works as a culinary specialist …

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Corner alumnus feeds Navy mates in Hawaii

Posted

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii A West Jefferson native and 2014 Corner High School graduate, Petty Officer 3rd Class Franklin Cantrell, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Halsey.

Cantrell works as a culinary specialist aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for feeding over 345 people three square meals a day.

“I love my job,” said Cantrell. “The actual process of cooking and being able to put your heart and soul into a product is my favorite. When people go through the line, they know I made that. Being able to see that satisfaction and the smiles on their faces when they enjoy what I cook makes for a great job.”

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.

"One of the things that makes our Navy the best in the world is the diverse backgrounds of our sailors,” said Cmdr. David Reyes, commanding officer of USS Halsey. “Their ability to work together and bring their different perspectives to our ship, missions, and various challenges enable us to be an unstoppable force. The personal experiences and values they offer cultivates an environment in which determination and creativity helps ensure our continued success. I am extremely honored to have the privilege to lead and serve with these extraordinary young men and women."

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 to maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.

“I love the people aboard the Halsey,” said Cantrell. “Everyone comes through the line so I basically know everyone. I like being able to meet people. It's eye opening seeing all the cultural experiences and differences. A culinary specialist’s motto is ‘Heart of the ship, morale of the fleet.’ I am proud to be a part of that.”

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 Navy was a decision I made because of my grandad,” added Cantrell. “He served in the Korean War. When he began to talk about it and I heard that, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I also wanted to be able to take care of my mom.”