Ben Sandridge likens some of his duties as a surface warship officer to those in a civilian administrative office: He oversees a team that handles official correspondence, the maintenance of service records, and pay and personnel transactions.
Then there are those responsibilities unlike anything in the civilian world:
“Additionally, I stand watch as Officer of the Deck on the Bridge for 5 hours each day. During that time, I am responsible for the safe navigation of the ship and the execution of the ship’s schedule,” he wrote.
Sandridge, the administration officer onboard the amphibious transport dock New York, is a 24-year-old from Virginia Beach. He graduated from Ocean Lakes High School (after attending Corporate Landing elementary and middle schools) and Old Dominion University.
“There are a lot of people in Va Beach that made me who I am today and growing up in a military town inspired me to serve as well,” he said by email on Nov. 2.
The day before, Sandridge had recorded a message for veterans while underway off the coast of North Carolina:
And what has Ensign Sandridge been up to the past year? Here’s more from the Beach native:
My ship returned from deployment to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation in July of this year. We are currently underway participating in training exercises and looking forward to spending Veterans Day in NYC to honor all of America’s veterans.
While deployed, we participated in Operations Inherent Resolve, Decisive Storm, and Restoring Hope. Those missions surrounded the events that unfolded in Yemen earlier this year. Additionally, we participated in several bilateral training events which strengthened our ties with partner nations and maintained presence in an unstable part of the world.