By Lt. Courtney Prizer, Navy Office of Community Outreach
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii – A 2006 Contra Costa Christian High School graduate, 2013 Diablo Valley College graduate and Concord, California, native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Chung-Hoon.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Aries Socrates works as a Navy fire controlman AEGIS aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Socrates credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Concord.
“My hometown taught me the value of hard work and patience,” said Socrates, “Also, that the same day you plant the seed is not the same day that you will eat the fruit.”
Chung-Hoon measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.
Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship’s company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.
As a Navy fire controlman AEGIS, Socrates is responsible for the computers and servers that provide the ship’s overall navigation and combat picture.
According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required war-fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Socrates 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.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Socrates is most proud of graduating from boot camp and technical school and now serving on a ship stationed in Hawaii.
“Dedication and persistence to my personal goals and family helped to push me through to reach where I am now,” said Socrates.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Socrates 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 the Navy means working on and reflecting on myself and my goals,” added Socrates. “Through various obstacles presented on the job, I am constantly being tested, allowing me to build myself up in some way. I have been growing in patience, resilience, and physical strength, as well as taking more initiative.”