Oakley native serves aboard USS Iwo Jima

Photo courtesy of Isaac A. Rodriguez

Oakley native Benjamin Martin, left, without helmet, is serving as a machinery repairman aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship. He’s seen here leading his fire team during a damage control training exercise.

An Oakley native is serving aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin Martin is a 2019 Freedom High School graduate. Today, Martin serves as a machinery repairman.

Machinery repairmen use large machines such as lathes and mills to manufacture parts that the ship may need to make repairs. They fix pieces that may be damaged or worn out from routine use.

Martin joined the Navy one year ago for the opportunities serving provides.

“I joined the Navy to gain unique experiences and to provide for my family,” said Martin.

According to Martin, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Oakley.

“One thing that has really helped me succeed in the Navy that I learned back home is being around all kinds of people. Growing up in Northern California, it’s very diverse and there’s a lot of people who think very differently than you,” said Martin. “The same goes for the Navy.”

Iwo Jima is the seventh Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear that name. The ship was named for the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II.

According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and air-cushioned landing craft as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.

Martin’s favorite part of working in the Navy is having pride in the work.

“The best thing about this command is the immense amount of pride we have in the work we do,” said Martin. “Everyone pitches in and supports the mission at hand.”

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Martin is most proud of success in schools.

“My most proud moment is earning top graduate in both of my schools, which led to earning a promotion,” said Martin.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Martin, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy has taught me so much about other people but even more about myself,” added Martin. “Our minds are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for, there’s not much we can’t do if we just get up and do it.