MAYPORT, Florida — A Cleburne native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Ignatius.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Crowe joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Crowe serves as a gas turbine systems technician.
“Both of my grandfathers served in the Air Force,” Crowe said. “They both retired from the military. I always liked the water, so I figured the Navy would be the best option for me.”
Growing up in Cleburne, Crowe attended Rio Vista High School and graduated in 2015. Today, Crowe finds the values in Cleburne similar to those needed to succeed in the military.
“In my hometown there are a lot of hard-working people, so I carried that with me into the military,” Crowe said.
These lessons have helped Crowe while serving in the Navy.
A guided-missile destroyer is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and phalanx close-in weapons systems. These warships provide multi-mission offensive and defensive capabilities. Destroyers can operate independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups and expeditionary strike groups.
A guided-missile destroyer modernization program is underway to provide a comprehensive mid-life upgrade that will ensure the Arleigh Burke class will maintain mission relevance and remain an integral part of the Navy.
The modernization changes are also being introduced to new construction ships to increase the baseline capabilities of the newest ships in the class, and to provide commonality between new construction ships and modernized in-service ships.
Serving in the Navy means Crowe is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy’s presence helps control open waters,” Crowe said.
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.
“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” Gilday said. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”
There are many accomplishments that come with military service, and Crowe is most proud of earning a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in May.
“I fixed two tank groups that we were not able to get fuel out of,” Crowe said. “I also fixed one of our fuel purifiers.”
As Crowe and other sailors continue their mission, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“There’s a lot of pride that goes with serving in the Navy,” Crowe said. “It’s not something I take for granted at all.”