PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- “Make a Difference!” The slogan of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), named after the Vietnam Marine officer and later congressman, John P. Murtha, is used to instill a sense of pride and drive in the Sailors and embarked Marines aboard. Lt.j.g. Adam Hammer is one such Sailor.
Born in Hawaii to military parents, Hammer spent most of his life moving around the world. As high school was nearing its end, Hammer had already made his decision on what he wanted to do next.
“My father was a Marine officer and has since retired; my mom is currently a captain in the Navy,” said Hammer. “On the one hand there was the ‘have a job and bring home money,’ aspect, but on the other there was wanting to be a part of something bigger than myself. I was already used to the lifestyle growing up and it just seemed like the right choice for me.”
Choosing where he went to school was also an easy decision.
“They both attended the academy, and we lived in the Annapolis, [Maryland] area a few times when they were stationed there,” said Hammer. “Frequenting the campus, going to games, I felt comfortable there. More comfortable there than I had if I had perhaps chosen another school. It seemed like the right place to go to begin my Navy career.”
Following his graduation and commissioning in 2016, Hammer’s first ship was the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroy USS Howard (DDG 83) as the ship’s auxiliary officer.
“I jumped into the lifestyle right away and qualified as a surface warfare officer (SWO),” said Hammer. “During my two years, I learned so much from the crew of the Howard and as an AUXO [auxiliary officer], it helped me with space and equipment management.
When it was time to pick his next ship, Hammer chose the Murtha along with a new career path.
“As the AUXO aboard Howard, I learned material maintenance and accountability of equipment,” said Hammer. “As a SWO I decided I wanted to see and try something more inter-departmental and program management so I chose to become a training officer (TRAINO). This way in the future when I become a department head, I will have experience on both sides of the spectrum.”
Hammer sees himself going as far as the Navy will let him.
“I don’t necessarily have a goal for a particular rank,” said Hammer. “If I feel I am being utilized well and am helping to make a difference, then I will continue to serve. If I find I have run my course or my services are no longer needed, I know I can be proud of what I accomplished and move on to the next phase of my life.”
Since joining the Navy, Hammer has gained a deeper appreciation for what his parents did while he was growing up.
“Having this job and being able to look back at the past few decades and knowing what my parents did when I was a kid has helped me gain a new respect for what they did,” said Hammer. “And I think it goes the same way with them looking at me because they know what is we’re doing out here and the difference it makes.”
John P. Murtha is currently on its maiden deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team and is deployed to the 7th Fleet area of operation to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.
For more news from USS Boxer (LHD 4), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd4/.