Videos: Today's Military

Petty Officer Jesse Crider: Hey, welcome to Naval Base San Diego. I'm BM1 Jesse Crider from Detroit, Michigan, and welcome to my home away from home, the USS Sampson. Let me show you around.

Request permission to come aboard, ma'am. Any time you come aboard a naval vessel, we're going to salute the ensign, we're going to request permission to come aboard, and then we're going to greet the officer of the deck as a courtesy.

Petty Officer Jesse Crider: How are you doing, Master Chief?

Speaker One:     Oh, good morning, good morning.

Petty Officer Jesse Crider: Good morning. This is Command Master Chief Fortson, she's the senior enlisted leader on board. She's also in charge of the crew's welfare and morale, and she's the enlisted liaison between the captain and the enlisted crew.

Speaker One: Good job, sailor of the year. You are in good hands today. Enjoy your tour on board the mighty warship Sampson.

Petty Officer Jesse Crider: All right, so right now we're down in the berthing area. Every sailor is issued a stand up locker, and then also a coffin rack. Underneath your rack, there's plenty of storage space for everything that you need to bring on board. Uniforms, toothpaste, toothbrush. You can also store civilian clothes. The racks might look small, but they're actually very comfortable. As you can see, there's more than enough room for me to get in here and get comfortable, and catch some Zs. If you guys will excuse me, I'm going to catch a nap real quick.

All right, so where I'm going to take you guys now is over to the shower and head area. Catch a drink of water down here. You can come over to the head area, take care of business, maybe wash up before you get some chow. I'll take you over to the showers. You know everybody needs to stay fresh and clean.

Right now we're at the ship's kitchen, it's also known as the galley. At home, you might cook for four. Here, we're cooking for 270 people, these guys are always in here turning and burning. Right now it looks like they got the dessert laid out, cutting some vegetables for the salad bar, you've got to get your broccoli. All right, so let's take a look at what we've got in the refrigerator today. Chocolate cake, and some OJ.

Let's go check out the mess decks. This is the ship's lunch room. This is called the tin can alley. Every ship's mess deck has a name. Right here, you can come grab a cup of coffee, maybe a cup of cappuccino or some juice. You've got a soup and salad bar. We also have the sailor phone, so you can call mom. Besides coming in here and grabbing three meals a day, sit down, maybe watch a DVD or some TV, play a game of cards. Or sit down and play some video games, it's a good place for the crew to relax.

So right here we have our Navy cash machine, our ATM on board. Go ahead and pull out some money real quick. And we also have shipboard mail on board. One of the best things while you're on deployment is to get a package. They're like gold.

Here we are at the combat information center, also known as CIC. This is where we find out who's friendly, who's our enemy, and we decide what we're going to do with them. But you're not allowed in there. It's classified.

All right, so we're up on the bridge now. Up on the 04 level. I had to go up four flights of stairs to get up here. We have everything from remote control machine guns to the ship's wheel, or helm. This is where we steer the ship from. At any given time, we might have ten people up here, standing watch, either navigating at the table over here, or standing lookout up here. You guys want to follow me over to the next space.

Here we are out on the fo'c'sle. We do a lot of important things out here on the fo'c'sle. I know it's covered right now, but that's where we take fuel. And we also have the spy radar. This gives us a 360 degree picture around the ship. Over here we have the VLS deck, or the vertical launching system. And we have the five-inch guns. This is what we use to get the bad guys and keep you at home safe.

Now I'd like to introduce you guys to the Thunder and Lightning. They're our ship's small boats. Also known as rigid hull inflatable boats, or RHIB for short. What we use them for is transferring sailors from ship to ship, ship to shore, and we also use them to protect the ship. These boats are seven meters in length, and they go about 30 knots.­

All right, well thanks for coming by. I showed you the ship, I showed you my weapons, I showed you the berthing, I showed you where we eat and where we sleep. But now it's time for me to go back to work, so I need you to get out of here. See you.