PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit (NORU) presented Class 20-080’s legacy gift, which was a special memorial for the victims of the shooting onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola in December 2019, to the Naval Aviation Schools Command, which was the location of the shooting, during a ceremony Feb. 13, at the Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC) in Pensacola, Florida.
The incident in December claimed the lives of Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19, of St. Petersburg, Forida; Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, of Richmond Hill, Georgia; and Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, from Coffee County, Alabama.
The legacy gift offers remembrance and respect for the fallen, while offering their class motto as a strong reminder to all of Recruiting Nation that “Our Recruits are our Family and our Family is our Legacy.”
The walls of the passageways of the Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit (NORU) are adorned with plaques and creative artwork presented by the graduating classes to the staff of NORU. From the moment they arrive, the students are encouraged to come together as a class, and as a team, to take ownership of their legacy that they will leave behind while serving onboard their various Districts and Talent Acquisition Groups at Navy Recruiting Command. As the first class to attend NORU since the tragedy, Class 20-080’s gift stands out as one of the most heartfelt and motivating gifts to date.
“It was a distinct honor to witness and express sincere condolences and dedicate this special legacy gift in remembrance of the victims, colleagues, loved ones, friends and family of the shooting at Pensacola in December,” said Rear Adm. Robert C. Nowakowski, Deputy Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. “The Navy is a family for many, and we are eternally grateful to be able to remember the victims forever throughout the halls of our Navy’s finest recruiting university. The honor, courage and commitment they demonstrated while serving our country will be part of the DNA of every recruit, student, staff member and visitor to NORU.”
The memorial will be hung in NASC’s temporary facilities until BLDG 633, the exact sight of the shooting, is re-opened for classes.
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, two Navy Recruiting Regions, 15 Navy Recruiting Districts and 11 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 815 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.