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Posted: January 24, 2019 10:00 AM

USS Michael Monsoor Commissioning Ceremony Honors Legacy of Navy SEAL

USS Michael Monsoor Commissioning Ceremony Honors Legacy of Navy SEAL

SAN DIEGO — The Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), was commissioned Jan. 26 at Naval Air Station North Island, California.

Twenty Gold Star families and four Medal of Honor recipients witnessed the second Zumwalt-class destroyer enter the fleet.

The ship honors Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Monsoor, a Navy SEAL who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Ramadi, Iraq, Sept. 29, 2006. At the ship’s 2008 naming ceremony, former Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter recognized Monsoor as “a consummate professional who faced terrorist enemies with aplomb and stoicism.”

“When you man the rails today and you man your first watch stations at [general quarters], you bring this ship to life in the spirit and legacy of Michael Monsoor with toughness, courage and love, and you will be the defenders,” said Vice Adm. Timothy Szymanski, deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. “You will defend. Stay in the Fight.”

“Monsoor is an incredible honor that the Navy has bestowed upon him and his family,” said Chief Warrant Officer Benjamin Oleson, one of Monsoor’s teammates in Ramadi. “I went out to the christening event, and I was completely blown away [by] the sheer size of what this ship represents. I think if Mikey saw the ship, he’d be like, ‘That’s too much. That’s not for me. I’m just laid back.’ But I think it’s truly an honor that the Navy did this, especially the type of destroyer that it is. ... [with] its cutting-edge, advanced technology. I think, with Mikey in the platoon, always at the front, leading the way, the way the ship is designed, it’s going to be leading the way in the future.”

California Congressman Scott Peters delivered the commissioning ceremony’s principal address for the ship named for the southern California native.

“‘You never quit.’ Those are the words Michael Monsoor wrote with permanent marker inside the camouflage hat he wore throughout his [Basic Undersea Demolition School] training at the Naval Special Warfare Training Center here at Coronado,” said Peters. “If you visit the quarterdeck of the magnificent new ship we commission this morning, you will see his hat there with those words inscribed within it. It is encased in glass where and it will remain on display permanently for the life of the ship. The letters are faded from time and wear but their significance and how Michael applied them to his life are as vivid and meaningful today as they were that day when he wrote them many years ago as his reminder to persevere. The words ‘you never quit’ are also brandished prominently throughout the ship as if Michael himself is offering encouragement to every man and woman who sets sail upon her.

“She was constructed for stealth and speed and will navigate and operate using the newest and most sophisticated technology and weaponry available,” Peters said. “She was built for battle and reflects the highest level of combat readiness as was her namesake, Petty Officer Michael Monsoor.”

Sally Monsoor, Michael Monsoor’s mother, served as the ship’s sponsor and delivered the time-honored first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!” The crew of 148 officers and enlisted personnel were joined by service members who served with Monsoor in Ramadi as they raced aboard to man the rails and watch stations.

“I can’t go without saying thank you for coming today,” said Monsoor. “You came because you were following his story and you cared. Thank you to our military men and women, the best in the world, SEAL Team, you have our hearts.”



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