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By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel, Navy Office of Community Outreach

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – A Racine, Wisconsin, native is serving aboard USS Essex, a U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Pinnow is a 2016 J. I. Case High School graduate. Today, Pinnow serves as a hospital corpsman.

“I would describe my job as a mixture between EMT and a nurse,” said Pinnow. “We are willing to do anything to take care of our sailors and Marines.”

Pinnow joined the Navy five years ago to serve the country.

“Coming out of high school I wanted to be a part of something more, something bigger than myself and the Navy gave me the best opportunity for new experiences,” said Pinnow.

According to Pinnow, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Racine.

“In my hometown and my household I was always taught respect,” said Pinnow. “Respect to others and treating them how I would like to be treated has gone a long way in the Navy.”

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Essex is the second ship in the Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts. Essex was a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat of the U.S. Army and later U.S. Navy during the American Civil War.

According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned, as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers while serving in the Navy.

“The moment I’m most proud of since joining the Navy would be when I was serving in Corpus Cristi, Texas I won Blue Jacketeer for the whole state of Texas,” said Pinnow.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Pinnow, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy means to me working towards something bigger than myself,” added Pinnow. “It has taught me to serve not only my country, but every other sailor and Marine I work with.”

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