there is never a normal watch
Back in 2014 we took a day to give a nod to MA2 Mayo, USN. A year later friends at USNI News posted the final report.
Make sure and read the VCNO's endorsement below. Lots to ponder there, and in honor of Perry Officer Mayo, you should give it a read.
Just another watch on the pier.
Tic. Toc. Yawn. It's 23:20. Watch is almost over.
Thing is, there is no such thing as a normal watch. You never know when the call comes. You don't even have to be at sea. You don't even have to be overseas. You can just be at the largest naval base in the world in your own nation.
When in a moment things can turn from boredom to the point where character, instinct and training take over. The first, is the most important - the rest only support it.
MA2 Mark Mayo, USN. Fullbore Shipmate; fullbore.
(the shooter) parked his tractor-trailer cab near Pier 1, was able to walk onto the pier and began heading up a ramp toward the USS Mahan when he was confronted by Navy security, said Mario Palomino, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent in charge of the Norfolk field office.
The man then got into an altercation with a female petty officer and disarmed her, Navy officials said. Palomino said Mayo stepped over the disarmed officer and fired his weapon at the assailant. He was serving on watch for the installation that night and came to help once he saw the civilian board the ship.
Multiple pistol rounds were fired between the gunman and Navy security forces responding to the scene, Palomino said. The Navy has said previously that the truck driver fired the shot that killed Mayo.
The base's commanding officer, Capt. Robert Clark, said Mayo's actions to protect the disarmed officer (sic) were extraordinary.
""He basically gave his life for hers," said Clark said during a news conference.
Ship, shipmate, self? Yep; it means exactly what it says.
MA2 Mayo enlisted in the U.S. Navy in October 2007 and began working in Norfolk in May 2011.
“Petty Officer Mayo’s actions on Monday evening were nothing less than heroic. He selflessly gave his own life to ensure the safety of the Sailors on board USS Mahan (DDG 72),” said Capt. Robert E. Clark, Jr., commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk.
There is more background at the above links and here about the shooter that I really don't want to cover here. There is plenty of time later for that and what lessons we can take away from it.
I have my opinions, but not here, not today.
Petty Officer Mayo, well done.
Read the then VCNO’s endorsement and more here.