Lansing native is a U.S. Navy Destroyer Sailor
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Lansing native Tatiana Thomas is a sonar technician (surface) aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.
Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Heidi Cheek
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO, CA – A Lansing, Michigan, native and 2017 Everett High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Decatur.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Tatiana Thomas is a sonar technician (surface) aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.
A Navy sonar technician (surface) is responsible for using sonar to track and classify submarines. 
Thomas credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Lansing. 
“My hometown taught me patience and perseverance,” said Thomas. “I take a lot of pride in my ability to push through obstacles and seeing the task through.” 
More than 300 sailors serve aboard the ship, and their jobs are highly specialized, requiring dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignment that keep the ship mission-ready at all times. 
“The success of the Decatur is due to the dedication and ownership each member of the crew feels towards making Decatur the best ship on the waterfront,” said Cmdr. Bob Bowen, commanding officer of USS Decatur. “Our team is always ready to accomplish the mission because of the commitment each sailor has to maintaining high standards and sound shipboard operating principles. Every team member knows their roles and responsibilities and does their part to ensure success.”
Destroyers are warships that provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. They are 510 feet long and armed with tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles, Standard Missile-3 and newer variants of the SM missile family, advanced gun systems and close-in gun systems. Destroyers are deployed globally and can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups, or amphibious readiness groups. Their presence helps the Navy control the sea. Sea control is the precondition for everything else the Navy does. It cannot project power, secure the commons, deter aggression, or assure allies without the ability to control the seas when and where desired.
The ship has anti-aircraft capability armed with long range missiles intended for air defense to counter the threat to friendly forces posed by manned aircraft, anti-ship, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles.
Unique experiences build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions, according to Navy officials. 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 is a continuing tradition of military service for Thomas, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Thomas is honored to carry on that family tradition. 
“My sister served in the Navy and she played a role in me joining,” said Thomas. “She told me about her experiences and that was something I wanted for me.” 
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Thomas and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. 
“Serving in the Navy has provided me with  a rewarding career and an opportunity to learn skills to take with me back to the civilian workforce,” added Thomas. 

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