ERHS grad assigned to USS Anchorage
On Saturday, May 4, Seaman Cruz Boseman stood on the deck of the USS Anchorage during a commissioning ceremony for the Navy’s newest warship at the Port of Anchorage.
The Eagle River man should have been more than 4,000 miles away.
Thanks to his local ties, Boseman was reassigned to the Anchorage and was able to spend time with family and friends before departing for San Diego where the ship is based.
“It’s a free trip home,” Boseman said via cellphone. “I’m not complaining.”
A 2009 Eagle River High graduate, Boseman was originally scheduled to serve on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower based out of Norfolk, Va.
But a fortuitous meeting with Brian Quin changed his fate.
A week prior to graduating from boot camp, Boseman met Quin — the ship’s former captain — in Illinois in July 2012. (Quin was diagnosed with cancer and was replaced by Cmdr. Joel Stewart last month).
During their brief conversation, Boseman mentioned he was from Alaska.
Then, his orders changed and Boseman was to report to the USS Anchorage. His new assignment shocked Boseman.
“It came out of nowhere,” he said.
Had Boseman not met Quin, he wouldn’t be part of the ship’s crew, which includes 360 sailors and three Marines.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” he said.
Boseman — who was active in student governement and served as senior class vice president at ERHS — is one of three Alaskans aboard on the USS Anchorage.
The 684-foot ship, which can transport 699 troops, arrived at the Port of Anchorage on May 1. A welcoming ceremony and public tours were held before the commissioning Saturday.
The city’s interest in the new ship was overwhelming, said Boseman, a four-year high school bowler who also ran two years of track for the Wolves.
“It’s great to see the community show their support,” he said. “The crew is very impressed with how friendly the community is.”
The $1.3 billion, 24,900-ton warship is armed with missile launchers, machine guns and 30mm guns. The USS Anchorage can deploy amphibious assault vehicles and Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
This is the second ship to bear the name Anchorage. This first was decommissioned in 2003 after serving in Vietnam and Iraq.
After leaving Anchorage, the ship is heading home to San Diego for more testing, Boseman said.
Boseman, who enlisted to see the world, said his future with the Navy is unknown. He has three years of service remaining.
“A lot can change in three years,” he said. “I never thought I’d be in the military, but look at me now.”
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.