Valley Cottage native serves aboard Navy warship in Norfolk

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steve Watterworth


NORFOLK, Va. – A Valley Cottage, New York, native and 2011 Nyack High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Kearsarge.

Ensign Judith Cho is a surface warfare aboard the amphibious transport dock operating out of Norfolk.

Kearsarge, one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious ships, is designed to deliver Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts.

A Navy surface warfare is responsible for the internal communications. They are responsible for radios, phones and anything that is used to communicate.

“Bring an open-mind and genuinely care for people,” Cho said. “It is a very strong community where everyone knows each other and it’s very comfortable.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied aboard USS Kearsarge. More than 1,000 men and women make up the ship’s crew, which keeps all parts of the ship running smoothly, from handling weaponry to maintaining the engines. An additional 1,200 Marines can be embarked. USS Kearsarge is capable of transporting Marines and landing them where they are needed via helicopters, vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and landing craft.

“The success of our Surface Force ships is measured by our ability to provide Fleet Commanders with combat naval power at sea and to project that power ashore where and when it matters,” said Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “It’s hard work to ready ships for combat operations at sea – it takes the talent of an entire crew working well together. I’m extremely proud of the each and every surface warrior’s contributions to the Navy’s enduring mission of protecting and defending America, at home and around the world.”

These amphibious transport dock ships support amphibious assault, special operations or expeditionary warfare missions and can serve as secondary aviation platforms for amphibious ready groups. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice.

Cho has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My brother is also a surface warfare officer,” Cho said.

Cho’s proudest accomplishment was being qualified as surface warfare officer in an exceptionally short amount of time. Though it usually takes about a year and a half, Cho did it in less than a year.

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

“I’ve learned a lot about sacrifice and putting aside personal things to focus on my Sailors and doing what’s best for them,” Cho said. “The work ethic is unparalleled. The Command Triad is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”

Submitted by Navy Office of Community Outreach

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