By Elaine Winn
Atlantic News, Tuesday, May 30, 1995
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
[Atlantic News Courtesy Photo]
HAMPTON -- When the fast attack submarine USS Hampton left on its Mediterranean run last week, a native son was on board. Petty Officer Brett Griffin, a 20-year-old submariner from Hampton will be spending the next six months on the major deployment run which will visit 6 ports in late summer in southern Italy and such places as Barcelona, Spain. "It'll be a lot of work," Brett said, "but a lot of fun, too."
A June 1993 graduate of Winnacunnet High School, Griffin enlisted in the Navy's submarine corps the following November 17, just eleven days after the USS Hampton was commissioned. He then went for electronics training at the PETTY OFFICER BRETT GRIFFIN Navy's submarine base in Groton, - Atlantic News Courtesy Photo Connecticut, where he studied principles and theory. "It was excellent technical training. I couldn't have gotten better training anywhere else."
The corps is a tradition in Griffin's family. His father, Robert, was a submariner who served eight years as a machinist's mate on the submarine Lapon, #661. In fact, his whole family seems to have been connected with the seagoing life in some way. His maternal great-grandmother was a sea captain on a commercial vessel in Maine and his grandfather worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for 26 years. "He was a draftsman who designed lots of the older boats and subs. He worked on the design of the USS Albacore and others like it," Brett said.
When asked why he chose to be a submariner, Griffin admitted that submarines have always held a certain fascination for him. "A submarine is a vessel designed to sink but come back up again," he explained. "And in reconnaissance situations they can get in real close." He finds that an alluring facet of the craft. He added that the submarine service is considered to be an elite branch of the Navy. "There is a stringent background check and lots of screening and security checking," he said.
After the Mediterranean run, Griffin will be looking for an ROTC scholarship, hopefully to a 4-year college. "I have a career in mind," he confided. "Ideally, if I qualify, I'll go to college and then join the JAG (Judge Advocates Group) and become a lawyer for the Navy. That's my goal; I don't know if I have it [what it takes] or not."In the meantime, he'll be a radar detector operator on the USS Hampton. "I'm the first one to know what's going on," he said, adding, "I'll be able to tell exactly what's approaching on the water or in the air — with experience."