Chicago Native Trains to be a U.S. Navy Future Warfighter

Chicago Native Trains to be a U.S. Navy Future Warfighter
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Chicago Native Trains to be a U.S. Navy Future Warfighter

By Jerry Jimenez

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class, Navy Office of Community Outreach

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.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Chandler, a native of Chicago, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be an interior communications electrician.

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Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Chandler, a native of Chicago. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse Hawthorne

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Chandler, a native of Chicago. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jesse Hawthorne

An interior communications electrician is responsible for repairing and operating various electrical equipment onboard Navy warships and land-based commands.

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.

Chandler, a 2010 graduate of Von Steuben High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Chicago.

“I’ve witnessed that when you put forth 100 percent effort, you have the ability to accomplish any task, no matter how big the venture,” Chandler 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.

Chandler 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.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Chandler is most proud of being awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

“To me, this award represents the hard work and lessons I have learned during my five-year tenure onboard USS Decatur,” Chandler said.

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

“My father was a private in the U.S. Army and a Vietnam veteran,” Chandler said. “I also have two uncles that served in the Air Force and an uncle who was a boatswain’s mate in the Navy. Most of the men in my family served and I am proud to continue the tradition.”

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

“Serving in the Navy gives me an opportunity to contribute to the protection of our country that I love,” Chandler said. “It’s a chance to mentor junior sailors and learn from the seniors. It’s about not only growing as a sailor, but as a human being.”

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