NORFOLK (NNS) -- USS Theodore Roosevelt (TR) (CVN 71) reached a major milestone Oct. 25 when "The Big Stick" and her crew celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ship's commissioning, which comes at the midpoint of TR's 3-year Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding (NNSY).
The crew honored the ship's anniversary with a dining out event with pomp and circumstance at an anniversary ball in Norfolk Oct. 21. The event featured eight congratulatory video messages from congressional and senior military leaders, including Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Sandy Winnefeld.
TR Executive Officer Capt. Douglas Verissimo stated at the anniversary ball that the ship's history, refurbishment and future belong to the TR Sailors past and present.
"We are at the midpoint of Theodore Roosevelt's RCOH, and it's the right time to engage in some camaraderie and honor the ship's first 25 years of service," said Verissimo. "It was TR Sailors who brought this ship into the fleet 25 years ago; it's our current Sailors who will return TR to the fleet in 2013; and it will be TR's future Sailors who sail her into the next 25 years. To quote the man himself, 'The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat.' Our Sailors deserve the credit and have made this anniversary possible."
The evening also featured a comedian, TR impersonator and cake-cutting ceremony led by TR's commanding officer and the ship's youngest and oldest enlisted Sailors and officers.
There are 11 aircraft carriers in the United States Navy, of which TR is the fourth Nimitz-class carrier. TR is named after the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, who was born Oct. 27, 1858. TR was commissioned Oct. 25, 1986.
TR has been at NNSY since August 2009 undergoing its mid-life RCOH period. Approximately 2,500 Sailors serve aboard the ship, and in addition to their normal duties, they contribute about 35 percent of their day to rehabilitating the ship, which includes installing decks, painting, and refurbishing living areas. RCOH is scheduled to last three years and is the ship's only refueling in its 50-year life span.
For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.