Murfreesboro Native Continues a 123-Year Tradition of Service Under the Sea

Aug 09, 2023 at 11:28 pm by WGNS News

(Left) Chief Petty Officer Philip Moyle and (Right) a photo of the USS Minnesota from the crews Facebook page.

PEARL HARBOR – Submariners make up only 10 percent of the U.S. Navy’s personnel, but they play a critical role in carrying out one of the Defense Department’s most important missions: strategic deterrence. Chief Petty Officer Philip Moyle, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea to help ensure Americans’ safety.

Moyle joined the Navy 19 years ago and today serves as an electronic technician (navigation) aboard USS Minnesota. “I joined the Navy because of family tradition,” said Moyle. “My grandfather was a submariner and was onboard the USS Skate when it was the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. I wanted to continue that tradition of service and travel to see foreign locations.”

Growing up in Murfreesboro, Moyle attended Oakland High School and graduated in 2003. Skills and values similar to those found in Murfreesboro are similar to those required to succeed in the military. “Growing up in a small town with farmland, I learned to have a strong work ethic,” said Moyle. “Applying that same work ethic allows me to do anything.” These lessons have helped Moyle while serving in the Navy.

Known as America’s “Apex Predators!,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically-advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.

There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN). Fast-attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. The Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today. It combines stealth and payload capability to meet Combatant Commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition.

The Navy's ballistic-missile submarines, often referred to as "boomers," serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles. The Columbia-class SSBN will be the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. - replacing the current Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.

Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes. "Our mission remains timeless - to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level," said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. "This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy."

Strategic deterrence is the nation’s ultimate insurance program, according to Navy officials. As a member of the submarine force, Moyle is part of a rich history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in defense of America and its allies. “The Navy supports national defense because our ability to continuously patrol the water allows us to stay ahead of our adversaries and protect our nation,” said Moyle.

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. Moyle and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service. “There are a lot of things I’m really proud of, but I'm most proud of being promoted to chief petty officer,” said Moyle. “I stopped worrying only about my career and started putting people on the boat first. I did my best to ensure that everyone had the tools available to them to make them successful.”

As Moyle and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy. “Serving in the Navy means I’m helping my family and friends stay safe and enjoy their lives without worry,” said Moyle. Moyle is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible. “I would like to thank my friends and family back home for their understanding of the long times without communication and for being there when we are able to catch back up,” added Moyle.