Arlington midshipman to serve aboard the USS Chung Hoon

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) departed Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Jan. 27 on a regularly scheduled Strike Group deployment to the western Pacific Ocean with the John C. Stennis Strike Group.

Navy Midshipman Michael Parker from Arlington participated in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) ship selection draft as a future member of the U.S. Navy’s Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) community.

More than 280 midshipmen at 70 NROTC units around the country have selected to serve in the Navy as surface warfare officers. Each selecting midshipman is ranked according to grade point average, aptitude scores, and physical fitness.

Parker, who attends the University of Memphis NROTC, says he is proud to serve at such a fine establishment. The NROTC unit is small, but it is filled with outstanding midshipmen,” said Parker. “It has been led by a great staff over the four years I have been here. The university tends to respect our NROTC unit, which has helped create a great campus atmosphere for all of our midshipmen.”

According to their rankings, each midshipman provided their preference of ship or homeport to the junior officer detailer at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington. If these preferences were available, they were assigned as requested.

“The SWO Ship Selection process, means that I have been chosen to serve alongside our nation’s toughest, smartest, and most courageous leaders,” said Parker.

Parker, a 2012 First Assembly Christian School graduate, has selected to serve aboard the USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93).

Parker is attending University of Memphis NROTC and majoring in technology. Upon graduation, Parker will receive a commission as an ensign and report aboard Chung Hoon as a SWO.

The mission of Chung-Hoon is to conduct sustained combat operations at sea, provide primary protection for the Navy’s aircraft carriers and battle groups, as well as serve as escort to Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces and auxiliary ships, and conduct independent operations as necessary.

The midshipmen’s selection of their ship is not only a milestone for them but also an important day for the ships in the fleet.

Not only do the midshipmen choose where they are going to start their Naval career, but the ship they choose will also gain a motivated, eager, young officer to help lead and improve an already great team.

“This is an exciting day,” said Rear Adm. Stephen C. Evans, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), which oversees the NROTC program. “We have some of the finest talent in our nation and we have the opportunity to marry them up with some of our finest teams in our fleet.”

Evans also told the midshipmen that should be excited, because they have a great future ahead of them on some of the Navy’s best platforms around the world.

“Serving in NROTC at the University of Memphis has taught me how to lead and take care of those who I am responsible for,” said Parker. “It has made me a better person overall and has taught me many skills that I never would have learned, if not involved in the NROTC program. I have a much more professional attitude towards different situations that I encounter and it has transformed me into a different person than the person I was when I attended high school.