ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Petty Officer 1st Class Reginald Jordan, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida, serves aboard one of the country’s most versatile combat ships, USS St. Louis, operating out of Mayport, Florida.
Jordan, a 2008 graduate of Lakewood High School, joined the Navy 12 years ago.
“I joined the Navy to provide a better quality of life for my family,” said Jordan. “I also wanted to take advantage of the educational opportunities.”
Today, Jordan relies upon skills and values similar to those found in St. Petersburg to succeed in the military.
“I learned in St. Petersburg to work hard and to put my best foot forward,” said Jordan. “Those lessons learned have gotten me to where I am as a petty officer first class.”
St. Louis is 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.
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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.”
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Serving in the Navy means Jordan 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 is important to national defense because we maintain the security of our coasts and protect the ideas of freedom and democracy,” said Jordan.
Jordan and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy was when I made petty officer first class,” said Jordan. “This was the biggest career marker I set for myself.”
As Jordan 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 is a very fulfilling and rewarding experience,” said Jordan. “I do this for my family, friends and everyone who would love to join the military but can’t.”
Jordan is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank both my parents, Reginald and Jolanda Jordan, for their love and support,” added Jordan. “I’d also really like to thank my wife, Ly-dea, for her love and support of my service.”
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