The Westside Gazette

Pompano Beach native trains to be a U.S. Navy Future Warfighter

Jake Joy, Navy Office of Community Outreach. (Photo by Lt. Cmdr.)

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

GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Sailors are some of the most highly trained people on the planet, according to Navy officials, and this training requires highly resolute instructors.

At Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), 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 Decovan McSwain, a native of Pompano Beach, Florida, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be a quartermaster.

As a quartermaster, McSwain will be responsible for navigation, visual communication with other ships, maintaining a log of ship events and observing weather.

McSwain, a 2021 Coconut Creek High School graduate, joined the Navy less than a year ago.

“I joined the Navy mainly for work experience and to travel the world,” said McSwain. “I also wanted to be a part of the family tradition of serving our beautiful country and protecting the freedom of our seas. Making a sacrifice for something so significant and so much bigger than myself, would satisfy me in the end.”

According to McSwain, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Pompano Beach.

“I took in the lessons that my father taught me about remaining humble and always being considerate, respectful, and patient, as well as thinking rationally,” said McSwain. “Take the time to think out a plan to do what needs to be done and adjust accordingly to remain efficient. Never give up and remain persistent. Effort always pays off.”

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.

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.

Made up of six commands, NETC provides 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.

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.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

Serving in the Navy means McSwain is part of a team 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.

“The Navy is the core defense at sea against attacks on our country,” said McSwain.

As McSwain and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means that I’m allowing myself every path of success and improvement through hard work and dedication,” added McSwain. “Being able to serve my country and protect the freedom, and happiness and dreams of the American people, is what gives me that extra motivation to do my best at my job.”

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