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USS Stethem (DDG 63)

"Steadfast and Courageous"

STETHEM is the 13th Arleigh Burke Destroyer of her class. Construction of STETHEM began on May 11, 1993, and she was commissioned on October 21, 1995. Most recently, STETHEM completed an eight month deployment to the FIFTH FLEET area of operations in support of Operation Sentinel and Operation Prosperity Guardian, ensuring freedom of navigation through the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Bab Al-Mandeb Strait.

STETHEM is named after 2nd Class Petty Officer Robert Dean Stethem and was commissioned on October 21, 1995, as the thirteenth Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer. STETHEM is assigned to Destroyer-Squadron NINE under Commander Carrier Strike Group ELEVEN/NIMITZ CARRIER STRIKE GROUP.
Petty Officer Stethem entered the Navy on May 4, 1981. He attended recruit training in Great Lakes, Illinois, and was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Sixty - Two, home ported at Gulfport, Mississippi. After several deployments to Guam and Diego Garcia, he attended Navy dive school, becoming a Second Class Diver, and was subsequently assigned to Underwater Construction Team One (UCT 1), in Little Creek, Virginia.
Robert Stethem was returning home from overseas duty when the plane he was on, TWA Flight 847, was hijacked by terrorists. He was singled out as a U.S. Sailor and was beaten by the terrorists in an attempt to have their demands met. Robert Stethem would not aid the terrorists in meeting their demands by courageously refusing to cry out, which in turn cost him his life as he was shot and killed.
He was posthumously promoted to SW2 and ultimately to Master Chief Constructionman (CUCM) for making the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of freedom as he laid down his life for the United States and his fellow Americans. STETHEM continuously honors Robert’s sacrifice, adopting the motto “Steadfast and Courageous” to highlight the exceptional heroism he demonstrated in June of 1985.

USS Stethem (DDG 63)

UNIT 100174 BOX 1
FPO AP 96678

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