West Memphis Native Serves Aboard Guided-Missile Cruiser In Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
by Erica R. Gardner
(Photo by Brian T. Glunt.)
A West Memphis, Arkansas, native and 2014 West Memphis High graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile cruiser, USS Port Royal.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Dorsey has served in the Navy for three years and is a U.S. Navy cryptologic technician (technical) aboard guided-missile cruiser operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
As a Navy cryptologic technician (technical), Dorsey is responsible for the collection and security of classified material.
Dorsey credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in West Memphis.
“I was taught to be patient and kind to others and how to handle stress,” said Dorsey.
Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. According to Navy officials, their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly. They do everything from maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Dorsey is most proud of possessing many different skills.
“It gives me the chance to do many different jobs aboard the ship,” said Dorsey.
A Navy cruiser is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea Navy officials explained. The ship is equipped with a vertical launching system, tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons systems.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Dorsey is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Dorsey, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Dorsey is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“Both of my parents were in the military. My mom was in the Marines and my dad was in the Army,” said Dorsey. “I am continuing the legacy because I wanted to experience what I grew up with.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Dorsey and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means to travel the sea while protecting people from potential threats,” added Dorsey.