By MC1 Kristin M. Schuster

Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

More than 40 Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen participated in a Joint Re-enlistment and Promotion Ceremony on the 9/11 Memorial plaza in New York City during 2017 Fleet Week New York (FWNY), May 26. 

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was offered to eligible service members serving at several commands, including USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), USS San Jacinto (CG 56), USS Monterey (CG 61), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Public Affairs Detachment New York, USCG cutter Hamilton (WMSL 753), USS Lassen (DDG 82), USS Zephyr (PC 8), and Carrier Strike Group Twelve.

Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command, presided over the ceremony.

"There are two extraordinarily special places to take this oath. The first is at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.," said Davidson. "This is the other place."

Navy Quartermaster 3rd Class Curtis Ray, a North Marion High School graduate and Jacksonville, Florida, native, re-enlisted during the ceremony.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance,"said Ray. "A lot of people passed away here and this is a way to pay our respects to them." 

The ceremony was viewed by hundreds of onlookers as Davidson raised his hand to re-enlist the sea service members. 

 "It is an honor to pledge the oath, it is an honor to stake our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor upon this country," he said. "Look around here, no one will push us off this rock."

FWNY, now in its 29th year, is the city's time-honored celebration of the sea services. 

It is an unparalleled opportunity for the citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness firsthand the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. 

The weeklong celebration has been held nearly every year since 1984.