NORFOLK, VIRGINIA— Petty Officer 2nd Class Anelis Ortiz Delgado, a native of Englewood, Ohio, serves aboard a U.S. Navy warship operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.
Ortiz Delgado graduated in 2020 from Northmont High School.
The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Englewood.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be just like my mom,” said Ortiz Delgado. “She’s the strongest woman I know and I’ve always looked up to her. Both my mom and dad were in the Navy and it was so important to learn and grow from their experiences.”
Ortiz Delgado joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Ortiz Delgado serves as a gunner’s mate aboard USS Kearsarge.
“I joined the Navy because a large portion of my family was in the Navy,” said Ortiz Delgado. “My parents and my uncle were in the Navy. It was a really big part of my life. Both my mom and my dad were gunner’s mates and now I’m a gunner’s mate. I wanted to continue their legacy of service and I wanted to travel the world and go to college. The Navy was a great opportunity to do so. I’ve seen some beautiful places.”
Kearsarge’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 crewmembers and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies, and can support helicopters or other aircraft. Kearsarge is the third ship in the Wasp class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and is the fourth Navy vessel to bear the name of Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire.
Serving in the Navy means Ortiz Delgado is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to national defense by maintaining free and open waters with a show of force,” said Ortiz Delgado. “It’s our whole job to make sure no one is crossing into our territories. We also maintain relationships with our NATO allies and continue those good relationships with other countries.”
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Ortiz Delgado has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy was advancing to petty officer second class in 2 1/2 years,” said Ortiz Delgado. “It was a lot of work, but hearing my mom screaming on the phone when I told her I made second class made me really proud of myself. I was on the phone with her when they called it out over the 1MC. I’m fortunate because my parents really understand what I’m doing and they know the work it takes to get somewhere because they’ve been there and they’ve already done it.”
As Ortiz Delgado and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means I’m carrying on a tradition of hard work and dedication while making my parents proud,” said Ortiz Delgado. “I’ve always wanted to be like them. That I’m continuing to do what they did makes me proud of myself and it makes them proud of me.”
Ortiz Delgado is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I want to thank my parents, Maria and Brandon Spirk,” added Ortiz Delgado. “They’re the main influence in my life. I also want to thank my siblings. I wouldn’t be where I am without my family, who have backed me through everything.”