MILLINGTON, Tenn. – A Wapakoneta, Ohio, native was recently promoted to the rank of chief petty officer serving aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford.
Chief Petty Officer Christian Scott, a 2005 graduate of Wapakoneta High School and American Military University alumnus with a Bachelor of Arts in Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, joined the Navy 16 years ago.
“Joining the Navy was not on my mind originally,” said Scott. “As I was attending The Ohio State University, something just felt like it was missing from my heart. I was provided some guidance from friends and family to inquire about the military.”
Today, Scott serves as a master-at-arms responsible for security and force protection aboard Gerald R. Ford.
“The expectation of a chief petty officer is very heavy, and our job is like no other when it comes to tasks,” said Scott. “The most enjoyable part of my job is taking care of the sailors and seeing them succeed.”
Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Wapakoneta.
“Living in Wapakoneta, taught me to be grateful for what I have in life,” said Scott. During my time in the military, I’ve missed so much. I learned that when family and friends are right in front of you take advantage of it, because you never know what tomorrow brings.”
Homeported in Norfolk, Virginia, USS Gerald R. Ford honors the 38th president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, the U.S. government and to the nation. During World War II, Ford attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy, serving on the light carrier USS Monterey. Ford became president and served in the country’s highest office from 1974-1977.
Navy aircraft carriers are designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack fighter jets, helicopters and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea. With more than 5,000 sailors serving aboard, the aircraft carrier is a self-contained mobile airport.
Aircraft carriers are often the first response to a global crisis because of their ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.
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 ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
Serving in the Navy means Scott is part of a team 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.
“Building a great sea power that exhibits the fight for good cannot be underestimated,” said Scott. “Our Navy is just that; resilient and proud of what we can do. The Navy is a force with forward thinking in the defense of the United States.”
Scott has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest moment was advancing in rank to chief petty officer,” said Scott. “This accomplishment was not only mine but my family’s, as they have dedicated so much for me to reach this point in my career. When I received the call, I cried with tears of joy.”
As Scott and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means being a mentor and a role model for those looking for something great in life,” said Scott. “Life isn’t always fair or good, but when you have a family like the Navy, you can get through anything.”
“The military isn’t for everyone, and I didn’t think it was for me when I first started,” added Scott. “Here I am 16 years later with a 20-year retirement looming in the shadows. I realize I made the right choice. Keep your eyes open to possibilities before they pass you by.”