SANTA RITA, Guam
A 2012 Tallwood High School graduate and Virginia Beach, Va. native builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center located on the island of Guam.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kaitlin Jones is an electronics technician with the 30th Naval Construction Regiment.
A Navy electronics technician is responsible for the safe guard of communications and network security of a multitude of communication equipment.
Jones credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Virginia Beach.
“My hometown, as well as my upbringing, has taught me that the word 'can't' should not exist in anyone's vocabulary," said Jones. "Through hard work and dedication, no goal is unobtainable.”
The jobs of some of the Seabees today have remained unchanged since World War II, when the Seabees paved the 10,000-mile road to victory for the allies in the Pacific and in Europe.
Since 1942 Seabees have served in all American conflicts. They have also supported humanitarian efforts using their construction skills to help communities around the world. They aid following earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean. All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft, and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.
“Being at this duty station has served as a huge self confidence booster in my self and has allowed me to bestow that on to other individuals as well, gaining a sense of satisfaction being able to help others achieve their goals,” Jones said.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Jones is most proud of being meritoriously advanced to petty officer second class after serving almost three years.
“Being meritoriously advanced to second class came as a surprise to me," Jones said. "I spent the previous six months as lead communicator of a 30 man Convoy Security Element team. I ensured every piece of communication gear utilized was accurately accounted for and safe guarded at all times.”
Serving in the Navy means Jones is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
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.
“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.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Jones and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means gaining life experience that could otherwise not be sought out in the civilian world," Jones said. "The Navy has taught me a very unique skill set that will carry over when I reach the end of my naval career. The Navy instills a strong sense of purpose and belonging.”