Navy Office of Community Outreach
Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Tatum from the Southside is serving aboard a U.S. Navy warship operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.
Tatum is a 2002 graduate of Emmerich Manual High School. Additionally, Tatum earned a degree in criminology from Indiana State University in 2007.
The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in the city where he grew up..
“Growing up in my hometown, I learned to have perseverance, to be humble and to strive for more in life,” said Tatum.
Tatum joined the Navy 13 years ago. Today, Tatum serves as a logistics specialist aboard USS Kearsarge.
“I joined the Navy to have a meaningful career that had camaraderie and to take care of my family,” said Tatum.
Kearsarge’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 crewmembers and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies, and can support helicopters or other aircraft. Kearsarge is the third ship in the Wasp class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and is the fourth Navy vessel to bear the name of Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire.
Serving in the Navy means Tatum is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to national defense by always being present and vigilant around the globe,” said Tatum.
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Tatum has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy is coming home safe from three deployments,” said Tatum. “I can never take that for granted.”
As Tatum and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.
“Serving in the Navy gives me a sense of pride knowing that I am taking care of my family in a career field that protects this country,” said Tatum.
Tatum is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I’d like to thank my mother, Terri,” added Tatum. “I’m grateful for her love and support.”