By Kayla Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO – A 2012 Austin High School graduate and Houston native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Milius.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Bryant Fonseca is a culinary specialist aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer operating out of San Diego, California.
A Navy culinary specialist is responsible for the satisfaction of the crew's meals to provide a healthy and nutritious meal every time.
“I enjoy working with food because who doesn't love food,” said Fonseca. “I get to try different things which is fun and keeps the job interesting.”
Commissioned in November of 1996, Milius measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
“Leading Milius sailors is exceptionally rewarding because they genuinely care for one another as people,” said Cmdr. Gil Ayan, commanding officer of USS Milius. “They want to see one another succeed and each of them works toward that collective goal. As a commanding officer, you can’t ask for a better culture than that.”
With a crew of over 300 sailors, jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from washing dishes and preparing meals to maintaining engines and handling weaponry.
“I like the interaction I get with the crew,” said Fonseca. “There are new conversations to have every day. This job keeps you in the loop and in touch with the whole crew.”
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.
“I serve for my family and friends,” added Fonseca. “I hope to be a role model to my future neices and nephews.”