CONCORD, N.C. (WBTV) - Provided to WBTV by Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach: Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different.
With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed in the U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s area of operations, sailors stationed at the Fleet Weather Center, in Norfolk, Virginia, make it their primary mission to monitor extreme weather conditions in support of the fleet’s daily operations.
Petty Officer 1st Class Garrett Egnor, a 2005 Northwest Cabarrus High School graduate and native of Concord, North Carolina, is one of these sailors serving at the Fleet Weather Center, which is responsible for providing timely, comprehensive, and tactically relevant information for ships, submarines, aircraft and other commands operating out of the Hampton Roads area.
As a Navy aerographer’s mate, Egnor is responsible for providing U.S. and coalition ships, submarines and aircraft weather forecasts including en route and operating area forecasts, and for providing regional and installation commanders recommendations for heightened conditions of readiness to prepare for and mitigate risks due to hazardous weather across the globe.
Egnor credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Concord. “I learned the importance of responsibility,” said Egnor. “After graduating high school I met a lot of veterans who talked about their service, and I started to get interested in serving.”
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, 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.
“Naval Oceanography defines and applies the physical environment for the entire Navy fleet from the bottom of the ocean to the stars,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “There isn’t a plane that flies, a ship or a submarine that gets underway without the sailors and civilians of Naval Oceanography.”
Egnor is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the 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, Egnor is most proud of earning the rank of first class petty officer before the sixth year of enlisted service.
“I am very proud of how quickly I have been able to promote,” said Egnor. “It took a lot of extra hours of working, studying and training along with volunteering to take on duties that others didn’t want to do to get me where I am. It took a lot of mentorship from my superiors to mold me into the leader I have become. I appreciate all those who sacrificed their own time to show me what I am truly capable of.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Egnor, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Egnor is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My grandfather, step-father, two uncles, and several cousins have served in the Army and the Air Force, but none have served in the Navy,” said Egnor. “Growing up, I always looked up to them for being in the military and often thought of them in the likes of an action hero star. I am proud to follow in their footsteps while also building my own legacy.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Egnor 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 I make many sacrifices; some large some small, some my choice, many not,” added Egnor. “I do this in order to provide for my family. The Navy has taught me many valuable life lessons, has helped me to grow as a person, and has given me a strong sense of purpose. I am proud of who I have become.”