Tampa native serves aboard future Navy warship

A 2003 Hillsborough High School graduate and Tampa, Florida, native is serving aboard the future USS Paul Ignatius, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer homeported in Mayport, Florida.

Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Thorpe is a cryptologic technician responsible for the operation, repair and upkeep of the ship’s missile defense countermeasures.

“I really enjoy visiting different places and learning their culture,” Thorpe said of his Navy travels. "It really gives you a different perspective on other people’s lives. I also enjoy training junior sailors on our daily job operations."

Paul Ignatius is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that provides a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface, and subsurface environments.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are the U.S. Navy’s most powerful destroyer fleet. These highly-capable, multi-mission ships conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence to national security. Ships like Paul Ignatius operate forward in every ocean of the world to keep our nation secure by meeting threats abroad before they can harm us here at home.

Thorpe has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service. 

“My hometown has taught me to be open minded. Similar to the Navy, Tampa is very diverse,” said Thorpe. “Working with people from different parts of the world helps you learn new things and that’s always exciting."

The Surface Force is focused on providing lethal, ready, well-trained, and logistically supported surface forces to fight today and in the future. The highly professional men and women serving aboard Paul Ignatius are some of our nation’s best and brightest, and are typical of the talented Sailors on duty in our Navy around the world today. They are properly trained, prepared to go into harm’s way, and ready to carry out orders in defense of our nation’s freedom.

“The crew’s performance has been absolutely remarkable, rising to the occasion and answering the call every time,” said Cmdr. Robby Trotter, Ignatius’ first commanding officer. “The many inspections and challenges we faced and overcame as a crew has prepared us to bring this ship to life and join the world’s finest Navy.”

Thorpe has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition of service.

“My grandfather retired from the Navy, and my father and uncle also served in the Navy,” he said. “They are the role models I look up to and I’m grateful for their service to our country.”

Thorpe’s proudest accomplishment was achieving his Master Training Specialist certification and being a part of the Joint Service Color Guard that rendered honors during the 2015 Stanley Cup finals when the Tampa Bay Lightning lost a heartbreaking series to the Chicago Blackhawks.

“Master Training Specialist is a tough certification that took months of studying to accomplish,” said Thorpe. “While part of the Joint Service Color Guard, I was able to be on the ice with my favorite sports team as they tried to bring home a championship.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s high-tech and lethal surface combatant ships, Thorpe and other Paul Ignatius sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team.

“When I joined the Navy, Sept. 11, 2001 was still very recent,” Thorpe said. “Since then, I made it my mission to do my part in keeping our country safe and ensuring nothing like that ever happens again.”

Paul Ignatius is the 67th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, and the 31st DDG 51 class destroyer built by Huntington Ingalls Industries. It is the first warship named for Paul Ignatius who served as United States Secretary of the Navy under President Lyndon Johnson from 1967 to 1969. Ignatius had previously served with honor as a commissioned lieutenant in the Navy during World War II.

The warship will be officially placed into active service at a July 27 commissioning ceremony in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The ceremony includes “bringing the ship to life” and other orders rooted in centuries old naval tradition. 

For information about the commissioning ceremony, visit http://www.browardnavydaysinc.org/commissioning.html

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