NORFOLK, Va – A Tampa, Florida, native and 2012 Wesley Chapel High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Kearsarge.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Jorge is a Mass Communication Specialist aboard the amphibious transport dock operating out of Norfolk.
Kearsarge, one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.
A Navy mass communication specialist is responsible for telling the Navy's story through photographic, journalistic and videographic media products.
“I moved around a lot growing up, so I’ve already adjusted to the military lifestyle,” Jorge said. “One of my hobbies was creating and producing my own music.”
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Kearsarge. More than 400 men and women make up the ship's crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 700 Marines can be embarked. USS Kearsarge is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.
"The success of our Surface Force ships is measured by our ability to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters," said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. "It's hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea - it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I'm extremely proud of the each and every surface warrior's contributions to the Navy's enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world."
These amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.
Jorge has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My grandfather was in the Navy, and a cousin serves in the Army,” Jorge said.
Jorge’s proudest accomplishment was documenting the relief efforts of Kearsarge in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after hurricane Irma.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Jorge and other USS Kearsarge sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“I’ve learned and developed a good sense of patience doing what I do,” Jorge said. “It’s also great to meet new people and go to different places. We are always doing important things and making a difference in the world.”
Photo Credit: US Navy/Dustin Good