Story by MC1 Tom Gagnier; condensed by Terence Way; photo by MC1 Tim Miller

Petty Officer Second Class (PO2) Taylor Douglas is a 2015 Virgin Valley High School graduate and a native of Mesquite, Nevada. She is serving as part of the PCU (Pre Commissioning Unit) for the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).

As a fire controlman, Taylor is responsible for the maintenance and operation of a missile fire control system aboard ship. She is also responsible for the control and handling of small arms. “I like that I get to teach others how to safely handle small arms and mentor junior sailors on the larger weapons systems,” said Taylor.

PO2 Taylor Douglas has carried lessons learned from her hometown into her military service.

“I learned how to apply time management to tasks while growing up in Mesquite,” said Taylor. “I also learned how to have fun while still getting the job done.”

Taylor has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My stepfather served 22 years in the Air Force. He was thrilled that I joined the Navy,” said Taylor.

Taylor’s proudest accomplishment is making second class petty officer in less than two years.

“It proved that I had the level of knowledge necessary to lead other sailors,” added Taylor.

The new destroyer (DDG 116) has a crew of over 300 sailors. Close 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.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest destroyers, Taylor and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“It means a lot to be able to serve on a newly commissioned ship, where we actually have an opportunity to get out there and make a positive difference,” said PO2 Taylor Douglas.

The construction, tests, and sea trials of the ship is over nearly complete. It is scheduled for commissioning in late 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information about the new destroyer and its commissioning, please visit