This is Amanda’s page

For a while, Mandy was deployed to the USS Blue Ridge

The USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) is the Command Ship for Commander United States Seventh Fleet.

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Mandy was underway and left Hong Kong 20 February.  Here she is on deck with some of her officers.

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She had lots of fun in Hong Kong and learned what it means to be broke.

USS Blue, Seventh Fleet visit Port Kelang, Malaysia
Seventh Fleet Public Affairs
Posted: 03/06/2006

PORT KELANG, Malaysia -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) arrived in Port Kelang, Malaysia, March 4 for a scheduled port visit.  The port visit gives Blue Ridge has nearly 1000 Sailors the opportunity to experience the culture and hospitality of Malaysia, to sightsee, and to participate in friendship- building and goodwill-generating community-service projects with their hosts. USS Blue Ridge, commanded by Capt Jeff Bartkoski,is on a routine deployment in the Pacific. USS Blue Ridge is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.  Operating in the western Pacific and Indian ocean, the U.S. Seventh Fleet is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. Fleets, with approximately 50 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines assigned at any given time.  For more information, visit the U.S. Seventh Fleet web site at  



Crew of Blue Ridge experiences beauty of Malaysia
Lithographer's Mate 2nd Class Charles Newcomer, USS Blue Ridge public affairs Posted: 03/09/2006

ABOARD USS BLUE RIDGE, at sea -- USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) departed Port Kelang, Malaysia, March 8 after a four-day visit. Blue Ridge and Seventh Fleet Sailors enjoyed liberty in nearby Kuala Lumpur, participating in sporting events, community service projects, Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sponsored tours, and endless shopping opportunities at the many malls and markets of the area. Blue Ridge Sailors also took advantage of the opportunity to show off the Seventh Fleet flagship to members of the Malaysian Armed Forces Academy and Royal Malaysian Naval College, offering informative tours and Blue Ridge merchandise to their host-nation visitors. “Many of our guests traveled a great distance for the chance to visit a United States Navy ship,” said Blue Ridge public affairs officer, Lt. Cmdr Tom Cotton. “Our Sailors as well as our guests enjoyed the interaction that took place during the shipboard tours.” Blue Ridge Sailors continued their commitment to community service by volunteering to clean and paint the Shekinah nursing home.
“The chance to help needy people in another country is a great feeling,” said Senior Chief Master-at-Arms (SW/AW) Curtis Kalla. “It’s our gift back to a welcoming nation.” During the visit, the Seventh Fleet Band performed a public concert to a crowd of 500 at Curve Mall. The Navy musicians treated the crowd to a mixture of soul, rock and contemporary music. “The audience response was one of the best that we have received on this deployment,” said Musician 1st Class Alex Gowland.
Even a concert in a busy outdoor shopping mall can have challenges. “We played two performances and unfortunately the second show was rained out about half way through,” said Musician 1st Class Frank Newton. “It was a great crowd and the audience already knew a lot of the music.” Spirited athletic competition and sportsmanship between Blue Ridge athletes and players from the Royal Malaysian Navy highlighted a memorable port visit. While the Blue Ridge softball team trounced their opponents, the Malaysian navy teams prevailed in soccer, basketball, and a intense volleyball match.
“It’s always a thrill for me to represent the Blue Ridge and the Navy in sporting events,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Joseph Mcallister. “We always enjoy fostering good relationships with the other teams while just having fun.”  The capital city of Kuala Lumpur boasts world renown shopping in both designer goods and street market bargains. Shopkeepers here are eager to negotiate deals with costumers and members of the Blue Ridge crew were up to the task. “The mall was great, but I liked the small shops best,” said Personnel Specialist 3rd Class (SW) LaQuite McMillian. “Bargaining made the shopping really fun and by the end of the day I felt like I was getting really good at it.” The Blue Ridge MWR team provided a variety of tours to Sailors who wanted to experience some of Malaysia’s many exotic sites. “On my tour we got to go outside the city of Kuala Lumpur to experience some really interesting and different sides of the Malayan culture,” said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Joshua Morris. “Climbing down into the Batu Caves, tasting Indian food, and seeing Malaysian craftsmen at work were rare experiences I will always remember.” USS Blue Ridge is a Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship. As the flagship for Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, Blue Ridge provides the highest quality capability for seagoing command-and-control of theater level forces by naval and joint commanders during peacetime or conflict, and provides preeminent naval support for U.S. diplomatic initiatives and objectives. Blue Ridge is 634 feet long, 108 feet wide, and displaces 18, 874 tons fully loaded. The ship can reach speeds of 23 knots and has a complement of 819 ship's company and approximately 240 staff personnel.  




While serving aboard the Blue Ridge, Mandy completed her MBA degree and was selected for Officer Candidate School (OCS). After which she became a commissioned officer.

Amanda's Commissioning Ceremony

Mandy was selected as the Junior Sailor of the Quarter and this article about her was published in a Navy magazine.


January 26, 2006

, Amanda got her E-4 rank and her crow.  This is called frocking.
January 18, 2006, Amanda deployed for the first time aboard the USS Blue Ridge.
November 18, 2005, Amanda was the outstanding honor graduate of her 'C' school training at Dam Neck, Va.
October 14, 2005, Amanda was the outstanding honor graduate of her 'A' school training at Dam Neck, Va.
July 01, 2005, Amanda graduated from Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Station, North Chicago, IL.
May 4, 2005, Amanda joined the US Navy. 
May 12, 2001, Amanda received her Baccalaureate (Bachelor of Arts) degree at Syracuse University.

Grandpa & Grandma Smith's 50th Anniversary