Son of Las Vegas residents transports U.S. Marines from sea to shore aboard U.S. Navy warship

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Navy photograph by PO2 Anna Van Nuys

The son of Las Vegas residents Bernardo and Andrea Jumayao, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Whidbey Island, a warship which transports and launches U.S. Marines from sea to shore as part of amphibious assault operations.

Fireman Bernard Andrew Jumayao is serving aboard the dock landing ship operating out of Little Creek, Virginia.

As a Navy fireman, Jumayao is responsible for daily maintenance and operating the damage control equipment so it can be used efficiently during casualties such as fire or flooding, which helps prevent damage to the ship.

Jumayao credits success in the Navy to many of the same lessons that others may learn growing up in Las Vegas.

“It’s important to have humility, discipline and a strong work ethic,” said Jumayao. “These lessons taught me how to succeed in life, and I will try to apply them to my career in the Navy.”

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

Jumayao is playing an important part 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.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard this ship. About 300 men and women currently make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 400 Marines can be embarked, and the ship is capable of transporting these Marines and landing them where they are needed using helicopters and landing craft, air cushion vehicles.

“Every day I am amazed by the men and women of Whidbey Island,” said Cmdr. Jean Marie Sullivan, USS Whidbey Island commanding officer. “Their steadfast devotion to the ship, mental toughness to overcome any challenge and complete commitment to their fellow shipmates truly inspires. Whidbey Island sailors are why we can answer the call and go where it matters, when it matters.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Jumayao is most proud of graduating from Navy bootcamp.

“I completely changed my mindset from being a civilian into a military person,” said Jumayao. “It was hard because it took a lot of mental and physical tolls on my body and I had to adapt and learn quickly. It was life changing as I take on these new responsibilities. It was tough, but at the same time it was worth it.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Jumayao and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means that I get to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Jumayao said. “It lets me serve a bigger purpose and develop my character as a better person. It also means that I have a lot of opportunities to help me and grow as an individual.”