Many thoughts, feelings and habits have stayed with me throughout my time in the Navy.
The most profound and impactful for me is the idea and importance of camaraderie found within the Navy and between service members.
I am an only child raised by a single mother, and I grew up below the poverty line. I was home schooled and choose to get my GED rather than going to high school so I could help support our small household. I learned very early on to be independent.
It was the Navy that taught me the importance of working in a group and developing strong bonds with fellow service members. This idea was instilled in me from the beginning of my service – in boot camp, where I was lucky enough to have compassionate and strong leaders who worked as a group and expected the same from us.
The essential nature of camaraderie within military service was cemented within my understanding of the Navy during my first deployment. Without the support and friendship of my peers and supervisors, I would not have grown both as a professional and as an individual.
I try to continue this idea of camaraderie, of working as a team and pushing the Sailors near me to work towards new heights.
This is my core as a sailor and who I am as a professional within our Navy.
I am lucky to continue to know those who I have served with through the years and hope to instill the sense and pride of camaraderie to those around me.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Richardson is the deputy public affairs officer at Naval Air Station Oceana.
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