ROTA, Spain - Petty Officer 3rd Class Samantha Selvidge, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, serves aboard USS Porter, a guided-missile destroyer, homeported in Rota, Spain.
Selvidge, who has served in the Navy for two years, is a hull technician responsible for repairs, fabrication, installation of hull structures and piping components using various welding and brazing processes.
"We do all the metal work necessary to keep all types of shipboard structures and surfaces in good condition, such as installing, maintaining and repairing valves, piping, ship's sanitation, plumbing system fittings and fixtures," Selvidge said.
USS Porter is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer named after U.S. Navy officers Commodore David Porter, and his son, Admiral David Dixon Porter. Guided-missile destroyers are multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface warfare.
"I like all the different skills that I've learned while being here," Selvidge said, "From fire fighting, to welding two pieces of metal together, everyday I enhance my level of knowledge in different areas. I feel like that's something I couldn't get outside the Navy."
Selvidge, a 2018 Hazel Green High School graduate, joined the Navy to travel the world and to be a part of something she was already accustomed to.
"I did Navy JROTC for 4 years, so joining the actual Navy seemed like a great idea," Selvidge said. "My grandfather, uncle and two brother-in-laws previously served in the military, and I look up to every single one of them as was inspired to do the same thing."
According to Selvidge, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Huntsville.
"I learned that being competitive is a good thing, and constantly striving to do better will get you far," Selvidge said.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Selvidge is most proud of earning her Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pin, an insignia given to enlisted personnel who are trained and qualified to perform duties aboard ships.
"It took a lot of sacrifice of sleep, working out, or just relaxing to the get that pin," Selvidge said.
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Selvidge, 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 setting aside your own life to take on the adventure of traveling the world, experiencing new things, sailing into harm's way when need be, learning your job along with everyone else's and laying down my life for the ones I love, if I have to," Selvidge said.
"You're always going to work with people you don't like, or not always enjoy what you're doing," Selvidge added. "You have bad days and then you have even worse days, but being a part of the United States Military and get to say that I helped defend my own country, is worth it."