Nigeria native serves aboard Navy warship in San Diego
By Bryan Niegel*
SAN DIEGO – A native of Nigeria serves the U.S. Navy aboard USS Boxer, which is homeported in San Diego.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Nofisat Yusuf earned a business administration degree in 2019 from York College and joined the Navy four years ago.
“I joined the Navy because I always wanted to serve,” said Yusuf. “My grandfather always dreamed of having a child in the military, so I’m trying to make him proud.”
Today, Yusuf serves as a retail specialist.
Yusuf relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Nigeria to succeed in the military.
“Growing up, I learned that when it gets hard you have to keep going,” said Yusuf.
Boxer, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, commissioned Feb. 11, 1995, and is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name. The ship recently completed a scheduled maintenance availability and is preparing for upcoming operations.
Boxer’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 officers and enlisted personnel and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies and can support helicopters or other aircraft, according to Navy officials. They also are capable of accessing 75 percent of the world’s beaches.
Serving in the Navy means Yusuf is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to the National Defense Strategy by helping our allies and deterring our adversaries,” said Yusuf.
More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.
Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.
“The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
“The Surface Force will continue to meet the challenge of strategic competition and respond to the realities of the modern security environment,” said Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener. “Our efforts are critical to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression and win wars.”
Sailors like Yusuf have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest Navy accomplishment so far was being promoted to petty officer third class,” said Yusuf. “I’m also proud of my time as a plane captain when I was working at Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One.”
As Yusuf and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” added Yusuf. “I can’t imagine myself not serving.”
*Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel is Navy Office of Community Outreach