Watch standing can be a tedious duty on a Naval vessel. There are hundreds of watches on a Navy ship, most of them of a professional or technical nature.

In port or underway, the Security Watch is of prime importance. This watch is stood to prevent sabotage, protect property from damage or theft, prevent access to restricted areas by unauthorized persons, and to protect the crew from fire, flooding and sometimes each other.

Because of the important duties that go with “standing security,” these watch standers are picked for their maturity and professionalism. They are very are well trained. All watch standers are taught to memorize “The 11 General Orders” as early as boot camp. They are drilled into you and form the cornerstone of discipline that makes a US Sailor or Marine what they are. They are called “General Orders” because they come from the highest military authority and they are always in effect, cannot be countermanded, and everyone is accountable for obeying them.

The foundation of the US Armed Forces is the 11 General Orders. I don’t think anyone even knows how old they really are. Here is the last one. General Order 11:

“Be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.”


On Monday night at 2310 hrs, Jeffrey Tyrone Savage drove his Freightliner up to the gate at Norfolk Naval Station and presented his Transportation Worker ID card. He then drove to Pier #1 and passed that security checkpoint as well. When he reached the brow of the Mahan and ascended it to the Quarterdeck, he was challenged by the Petty Officer of the Watch. In the altercation that followed (scuttlebutt is that it was over a Mahan crewman who was seeing Savage’s girlfriend), Savage managed to strip the POOW of her sidearm and knock her to the ground.

The Chief of the Watch PO2 Mark Mayo, seeing his shipmate in peril and about to be shot, threw himself on top of her to protect her from the gunfire. In doing do, PO2 Mayo was killed by Savage. In the brief exchange of gun fire that followed, the Roving Security Watch killed Savage.