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Chesapeake native is a U.S. Navy destroyer sailor

By Kayla Turnbow

Navy Office of Community Outreach

A Chesapeake native and 2012 Western Branch High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey Bos is a sonar technician (surface) aboard the guided-missile destroyer operating out of San Diego.

A Navy sonar technician (surface) is responsible for maintaining and operating sonar equipment involving anti-submarine warfare on board the ship.

Bos credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Chesapeake.

“Everybody around me growing up was in the military, so I learned a good work ethic, because everyone really started working at an early age,” said Bos. “I have a higher tolerance for working hard and getting the job done and putting in more work.”

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 assignments 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 Bos, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Bos is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My dad was in the Navy,” said Bos. “It served our family really well, and he had a good experience in the Navy. The military really looked out for our family.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Bos and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.

“Serving in the Navy means that my job directly affects so many people across the country,” added Bos.