Toledo native serves on U.S. Navy's newest amphibious assault ship

Petty Officer 3rd Class Donavin Belcher, a native of Toledo, Ohio, joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Belcher serves as a boatswain's mate aboard USS Tripoli. “I joined the Navy because I wanted to see the world, I wanted help with paying for college and I wanted benefits for me and my future family,” said Belcher. Growing up in Toledo, Belcher attended Whitmer High School and graduated in 2017. Today, Belcher uses the same skills and values learned in Toledo to succeed in the military.

“Growing up, I was taught the importance of leadership and dedication,” said Belcher. "As a sailor both of these lessons have helped me lead those who are new to the Navy. I've been able to assist others and drive our mission every day, even when the going gets tough. These lessons help me help others stay motivated to do their job."

These lessons have helped Belcher while serving in the Navy. USS Tripoli incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. The design features an enlarged hangar deck, aviation maintenance facilities realignment and expansion, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.\

“My greatest naval accomplishment is being able to help my fellow sailors improve themselves,” said Belcher.

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

“I take serving in the Navy as a stepping stone to bettering myself,” added Belcher. "It's a way to get where I want to go in life. I've been told by my family and Chief here that they've all noticed a difference in the person I've become. I'm really proud of that."

Donavin Belcher

Photo: Fred LeFebvre

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