SANTA RITA, Guam — A 2013 Live Oak High School graduate is serving with the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines, USS Oklahoma City.
Seaman Jacob McCurnin is a culinary specialist aboard the Guam-based submarine, one of four Los Angeles-class submarines forward-deployed on the island, a news release said. A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for feeding and ensuring proper nutrition of the crew.
McCurnin credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Walker.
“I learned about hard work and pushing through,” McCurnin said. “Physical labor never hurts that much.”
Approximately 130 sailors make up the submarine’s crew.
Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time, the release said.
“As the only forward-deployed submarine squadron, we are the quick reaction force for the Navy. We can respond quickly to any crisis,” said Capt. Tim Poe, commodore, Submarine Squadron 15.
According to Navy officials, because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. Submariners are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. Regardless of their specialty, everyone has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.
“The skills that I have picked up and learned will definitely help me out in life," McCurnin said. “Working here makes you better at what you do because you do so much of it.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, McCurnin is most proud of getting a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
“Our freezer went down on deployment, and we had to get really creative to be able to feed the crew with the food we have,” McCurnin said. “Feeding the crew on a deployment is critical to keeping everyone’s morale up. So I am proud of the work we did.”
“Serving in the Navy means I am supporting my family," McCurnin said. "I’m out here so they don't have to be.”