GREAT LAKES, Ill. – 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.
Seaman Cody Vandehey, a native of Soldotna, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be an electronics technician.
An electronics technician is responsible for ensuring all computer equipment operates correctly onboard Navy warships.
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.
Vandehey, a 2011 graduate of Soldotna High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Soldotna.
“I learned that having a close community, family and support system makes life’s hardest challenges livable,” Vandehey said. “No matter what happens it’s not the end of the world, just the end of the day.”
NETC educates and train 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.
Vandehey 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, Vandehey is most proud of earning a Meritorious Advancement Award.
“It meant that I was recognized as top of my class of about 80 people, and it felt great to be appreciated after two months of hard work,” Vandehey said.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Vandehey, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Vandehey is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“My great-grandfather and uncle both served in the Navy and it means that I get to return the service that they served to me,” Vandehey said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Vandehey 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 means a better opportunity for my life, my kids and a chance at an education,” Vandehey said. “It’s also a way to give back to all who have served before me.”