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GREAT LAKES, Ill.

Sailors are some of the most highly-trained people on the planet, according to Navy officials, and this training requires highly-dedicated instructors.

At Naval Education and Training command, instructors at advanced technical schools teach sailors to be highly skilled, operational, and combat ready warfighters, while providing the tools and opportunities for continuous learning and development.

Seaman Elijah Barlow, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be an electronics technician.

An electronics technician is responsible for operating and repairing various electronics equipment and radars onboard Navy warships.

Students attend advanced technical schools after “boot camp.” They are taught the basic technical knowledge and skills required to be successful in their new careers.

Barlow, a 2018 graduate of Landstown High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Virginia Beach.

“I did JROTC in high school and that taught me a lot of leadership capabilities,” Barlow said.

NETC educates and trains those who serve, providing the tools and opportunities which enable life-long learning, professional and personal growth and development, ensuring fleet readiness and mission accomplishment.

NETC is made up of six commands that provide a continuum of professional education and training in support of Surface Navy requirements that prepare enlisted sailors and officers to serve at sea, providing apprentice and specialized skills training to 7,500 sailors a year.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

Barlow plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of National Defense Strategy.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Barlow, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Barlow is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My father served in the Marines and my brother currently serves in the Navy,” Barlow said. “I have a sense of pride carrying the family torch serving our country.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Barlow and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Being so young, serving in the Navy gives me an opportunity to see the world and make a difference that will make an impact beyond my community and myself,” Barlow said.

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