French Lick native recently participated in Fleet Week New York

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – Petty Officer 3rd Class Ammon Acuff, a native of French Lick, Indiana, recently participated in Fleet Week New York.

Through a series of outreach events, Fleet Week New York gives citizens an opportunity to interact with sailors and learn more about the Navy. This year’s events included ship tours, dive tank demonstrations, band performances, a ship parade, and participation from NATO allies Great Britain, Italy and Canada.

The amphibious assault ship, USS Wasp (LHD 1), navigates through New York Harbor during Fleet Week New York’s parade of ships, May 24, 2023. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Horacio G. Idrogo, Jr.)

Acuff joined the Navy two and a half years ago and today serves as an aviation ordnance man aboard USS Wasp, an amphibious assault ship that supports U.S. Marines in combat and provides disaster relief and medical support to those in need.

USS Wasp was one of the ships offering free public tours during Fleet Week New York.

“I come from a small, one-stoplight town with a population of close to two thousand people,” said Acuff. “I joined the Navy to experience places outside of just my hometown.”

Growing up in French Lick, Acuff attended Springs Valley High School and graduated in 2020.

Skills and values similar to those found in French Lick are similar to those required to succeed in the military.

“I learned in French Lick to always end any confrontation with somebody on a high note and to try to befriend them, because you will see them consistently over the years,” said Acuff.

These lessons have helped Acuff while serving in the Navy.

Acuff and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I’m very proud to have received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and to have been promoted to the rank of petty officer third class,” said Acuff. “However, I will keep working to put on another chevron to be promoted to the rank of petty officer second class.”

As Acuff and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“The first few words that come to mind when I think about serving in the Navy are unity, commitment and perseverance,” added Acuff. “Unity is us working hand and hand enduring harsh and difficult times away from home as one giant family. Commitment is what drives us to show up to work each and every day with the motivation to get the task done at its highest efficiency. Perseverance is being able to find purpose in each individual task we receive on an everyday basis. Although the job can seem dull at times it’s important to recognize the bigger picture, that we are fulfilling our duty of protecting and serving this country.”