Military Sealift Command Ship USNS Carl Brashear Hosts Traditional Navy Baptism Ceremony

The crew of Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) hosted a baptism ceremony for Jackson Taylor Reeves, son of Taylor Reeves, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s, contracting officer, onboard the ship, Saturday, March 3.

The ceremony was conducted by Cmdr. Jeffery Plummer, command chaplain, USS Essex (LHD 2).  In keeping with Navy tradition, the ship’s bell was used as the baptismal font.

“The rite of baptism isn’t a solemn occasion.  It is a time of celebration,” said Plummer.  “It’s a time to gather with family and friends and rejoice.”

Navy Chaplain, Cmdr. Jeffery Plummer officiates traditional baptism ceremony onboard the Military Sealift Command  dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7).

During the ceremony, attended by family and friends of the Reeves family, members of the MSCPAC team and crewmembers from Brashear, Plumber honored Reeves deceased family members, most notably Charles Edward Reeves Jr., Reeves senior’s grandfather, a Navy veteran and Episcopal clergyman.

The centerpiece of the ceremony was a wooden stand, crafted to hold the ship’s bell, by Brashear’s carpenter, civil service mariner Larry Perez. The stand was adorned with knotted rope “Fancy Work” tied by civil service Able Seaman Manny Villegas.  A portion of the “Fancy Work” was presented to the Reeves family as a remembrance.

Navy chaplain, Cmdr. Jeffery Plummer blesses Jackson Taylor Reeves, son of Taylor Reeves, Military Sealift Command Pacific’s, contracting officer, during a traditional Navy baptism ceremony onboard the Military Sealift Command dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7).

“All ships have a heart and soul and we a crew around that,” explained Frank Wareham, Brashear’s civil service chief mate.  “All kinds of things happen on ships; marriages, deaths, children being born, christenings.  These things are special and mean a lot to the crew.  This is why this crew put so much of their personal time into making this event special, and to being here to share this with the Reeves family.”

 

The Navy’s baptism tradition dates back several hundred years to the British Royal Navy, when baptisms were carried out in foreign ports or for infants born at sea.  Tradition calls for the child to be baptized in the ship’s bell. Following the ceremony, the child’s name is engraved inside the bell. When the ship is decommissioned, the bell is presented to the family of the first baptism.

About sburford