ARANSAS PASS, Texas — Sailors are some of the most highly-trained people on the planet, according to Navy officials, and the training requires highly-dedicated 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.
Story by Rick Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach
The Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) sent us information on a local who is training to be a warfighter at NETC.
Seaman Apprentice Brookelynn Gilden, a native of Aransas Pass, is learning the necessary skills needed to be an operations specialist. Gilden is responsible for operating radars, navigation and communications equipment on board Navy ships.
Gilden graduated in 2022 from Aransas Pass High School.
“I joined the Navy to be a part of an organization that many people don't have the opportunity to be a part of,” said Gilden. “Not only do I want to defend our country while securing my future, but I also want to show little girls back home that they can do anything they put their minds to.”
According to Gilden, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Aransas Pass.
“Growing up in a small town taught me that you have to look for the best in every situation,” said Gilden. “You learn from your mistakes and continue moving forward. I also learned to have integrity and treat everyone with respect.”
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.
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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 Gilden 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 vital for national defense because we maintain freedom of navigation of the seas and we must be ready to defend our country at any minute,” said Gilden.
As Gilden and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Being able to serve in the world's greatest Navy gives me a sense of pride and honor,” added Gilden. “It means I can be the change I want to see and to be a part of the continued growth of our organization. I take great pride in being able to serve our country and wear the uniform every day.”