AHOY — Pictured is Marty Casnellie receiving his promotion to petty officer 2nd class from Operations Officer Cmdr. Pummill. Photo submitted by Amanda Owens.
HAMBURG — Marty Casnellie, a Hamburg native, enlisted into the Delayed Entry Program while he was a senior at Hamburg High School. He is now 22 years old and was recently promoted to petty officer 2nd class.
Casnellie was born and raised in the Southtowns; he graduated from Hamburg High School in 2009.
“I enlisted into the Delayed Entry Program for the [United States] Navy. It is basically like enlisting, but you haven’t officially sworn in yet,” he said. “It’s difficult to join nowadays, if you have had nearly any medical problems or problems with the law. But I joined the Navy because it seemed like a great way to go out and see the world and it makes it an even better experience, when you get paid to do it.”
The officer is working as a sonar technician aboard the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft carrier stationed outside of Norfolk, Va. He said he stands watch for the First Combined Destroyer Squadron, “which is a mix of officers and noncommissioned officers from Great Britain and America.
“We control surface and anti-submarine warfare for the entire strike group,” he added. “It has been very interesting and fun, working with the British; I have learned a lot about them and am honored to have had the chance to do so.”
Responsible to work two watch shifts that last four hours per day, with mandatory equipment maintenance during the time between shifts, Casnellie said his “hours are pretty rough.”
When he does have some down time, he said he hits the gym for a few hours, no matter how little sleep he gets or how much work needs to be done. “It’s what keeps me sane out here in the big blue,” he said.
One of the things he said he finds difficult is his limited time with his family, “but there is a mutual understanding that I am doing what needs to be done. I usually get to come home around once a year for two weeks or less. This summer, I get to come home to be in my sister’s wedding, hopefully.”
Casnellie said that he has learned how to mature, with the recent promotion and added responsibility. As a senior supervisor to junior sailors, he said that he is “obligated to display great professionalism and teach them how the U.S. Navy rolls.
“I love my job,” he added. “I love the Navy. I feel honored to have had the chance to see what I’ve seen, do what I’ve done, with the people from different parts of the world right by my side. Whether it be hunting submarines, tracking an enemy surface ship or – just recently – saving a sea turtle, it has all been an exhilarating experience.”
Moving forward, Casnellie said he will strive to become the work center supervisor and plans to re-enlist. He added that his future goals include becoming an instructor for the Sonar Technician “A” School.