Navy Office of Community Outreach
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary Ellis, a 2013 graduate of Beech Grove High School, serves as culinary specialist aboard the USS Hawaii, one of the Navy’s newest attack submarines.
Charged with preparing meals and ensuring that the mess spaces are clean, Ellis said he knows what his role is. “If I don’t do what I need to do in the Navy, then the workday gets long and other people have to do your job. It is important to always get the job finished.”
Jobs are highly varied aboard the submarine. Approximately 130 men and women make up the submarine’s crew, doing everything from handling weapons to maintaining nuclear reactors.
Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.
Ellis, who has military ties with family members who have served in the armed forces, has earned a Flag Letter of Commendation for going to other submarines and assisting when shorthanded.
“Serving in the Navy means that I get to travel the world and meet so many different people,” Ellis said. “I never really thought I would leave Indiana, so this has been a rewarding experience.”