Chicago Native Patrols the Sea Aboard Naval Warship

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SAN DIEGO – Four years ago, Petty Officer 3rd Class Devanté Jones joined the Navy for security and stability. He is now serving aboard USS Boxer.

“I felt like serving in the Navy would be able to put myself in a better position when I am ready to retire,” said Jones.

Jones is an aviation boatswain’s mate (handling) who is responsible for serving as a first responder and putting out fires.

“My favorite part about my job is the constant movement on the flight deck,” said Jones. “It is fast paced whereas other rates are enclosed between walls.”

Jones is a 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep graduate and native of Chicago, Illinois.

According to Jones, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Chicago.

“Chicago taught me toughness,” said Jones. “Being on the flight deck you have to have tough skin.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that has recently returned from a Western Pacific-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf deployment. It is the sixth ship to carry the name Boxer.

Amphibious assault ships are used to transfer Marines, equipment and supplies and can support helicopters or other aircraft. They also are capable of accessing 75% of the world’s beaches.

According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.

“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Jones is most proud of making third class petty officer.

“Coming in undesignated was a really rough time to get there,” said Jones.

For Jones, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one Jones hopes to continue.

“My grandfather and father were both in the Navy,” said Jones. “It means a lot to continue the tradition. My dad got separated from the Navy because of his asthma. He passed away but before he passed away he was living his dream through me.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Jones, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“It means waking up every day and putting the hopes and dreams of the country on your back,” said Jones. “I am fighting for things that are bigger than myself.”

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