Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Catoruiz, a native of Hanford, California, serves the U.S. Navy aboard a U.S. Navy warship operating out of San Diego, California.
Catoruiz joined the Navy seven years ago. Today, Catoruiz serves as a fire controlman aboard USS Shoup.
“I was inspired to join the Navy because I have a couple of family members who retired from the Navy and I did four years of NJROTC in high school, so I learned a lot about the Navy through that program,” said Catoruiz.
Growing up in Hanford, Catoruiz attended Hanford West High School and graduated in 2014. Today, Catoruiz relies upon lessons learned in Hanford to succeed in the military.
“I learned communication and working as a team can really make things like everyday work life go a lot smoother,” said Catoruiz.
These lessons have helped Catoruiz while serving aboard USS Shoup.
Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.
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 Shoup. 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, according to Navy officials.
Serving in the Navy means Catoruiz is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to national defense because our whole purpose is projection of power,” said Catoruiz.
More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.
Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.
“The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
“The Surface Force will continue to meet the challenge of strategic competition and respond to the realities of the modern security environment,” said Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener. “ Our efforts are critical to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression and win wars.”
Sailors like Catoruiz have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I'm most proud of going on deployment on the USS Bunker Hill to the Arabian Gulf,” said Catoruiz.
As Catoruiz and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“I'm really proud to serve in the Navy because not many are able to,” added Catoruiz