MAYPORT, Fla. - Petty Officer 1st Class Raven Green, a native of Newark, New Jersey, serves aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Nantucket, in Mayport, Florida.
|Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class|
James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach
PCU is a designation used by the U.S. Navy to describe crews aboard vessels under construction prior to official commissioning.
Green, a 2011 graduate of University High School, joined the Navy 12 years ago.
“I joined the Navy because my mother was working to pay college tuition for my two older sisters,” said Green. "With her sacrifices, I chose a path to gain real-life experiences at a young age and build on those core attributions she instilled in me."
Today, Green relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Newark to succeed in the military.
“From my time in the Navy, I learned that sometimes doing the most uncomfortable things can give you the most beautiful results,” said Green. "I left home when I was 17 years old and the nerves really settled in when I boarded the plane to boot camp. Through that hard work and pressure, came an amazing outcome and friends who became my second family."
These lessons have helped Green while serving in the Navy.
Nantucket will be a fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatant that operates in near-shore and open-ocean environments, according to Navy officials. Littoral combat ships integrate with joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.
Littoral combat ships are hybrid surface combatants that lead manned-unmanned teams using unmanned aerial systems like the Fire Scout and Expeditionary Ordnance Disposal forces unmanned underwater vehicles. They conduct forward and maritime security missions like the Secretary of Defense Oceania Maritime Security Initiative. The ships also strengthen partnerships through port visits in small island nations like Tahiti and Fiji due to their shallow-depth hull.
According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is unique and challenging. The culmination of their 18-month training pipeline, sailors qualify on a virtual reality simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping on board.
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
"Our mission remains timeless - to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level," said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. "This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy."
Serving in the Navy means Green is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy provides maritime security to protect the freedom of all,” said Green.
Green and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy was when my mom drove down from New Jersey to Norfolk to pin me with my surface warfare qualification,” said Green. "I was able to live in that moment again when I was promoted to E-6 and my wife, Nekkia, and my youngest daughter, Harper, were there to pick up the tradition and pin my new rank on me."
As Green and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“To me, serving in the Navy means being that person for others to look up to,” said Green. "Mentorship in the Navy starts from the time you get to your first ship and could potentially last for years to come. Guiding younger sailors through life changes and seeing them reach their goals is the most rewarding thing the Navy has given me."
Green is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank my parents, Simone and Derrick, my aunt, Yvonne, and my sisters, Parise and Diamond, for their unwavering love and support throughout my career,” added Green. "I would also like to thank my cousins, Kyle and Andrew, who are more like the brothers I've always wished for. They showed me you can shatter the ceiling and do anything."