Fredericksburg native serves aboard U.S. Navy amphibious warship in Japan

by | Jun 11, 2023 | Military

Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Bakerian, a native of Fredericksburg serves in Japan aboard a U.S. Navy warship.  Bakerian attended Riverbend High School and graduated in 2017.  Bakerian joined the Navy three years ago.

“I joined the Navy because I wanted to travel,” said Bakerian. “My grandpa was a Seabee in WWII and I wanted to experience what he did, so I joined the Navy for him as well.”

Today, Bakerian serves as a mass communication specialist aboard USS America.

Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Fredericksburg.

“I learned about constant perseverance and it’s paid off in the Navy as well,” said Bakerian.

USS America is an amphibious warship. These types of ships embark, transport and land U.S. Marines for a variety of warfare missions. Because of their inherent capabilities, these ships have been and will continue to be called upon to support humanitarian and other contingency missions on short notice, according to Navy officials.

As a member of the Navy, Bakerian is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we help provide free open waters around the world,” said Bakerian.

Bakerian serves in Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.

“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence,” said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. “Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend – across all domains – any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being.”

Bakerian and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I am proud of being qualified on almost all the crew serve and armed watches,” said Bakerian. “I’ve also served as a watch commander for our alpha section import security force.”

As Bakerian 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 means I have a steady job, I get to explore the world and I get to make bonds that are not possible outside of the Navy,” said Bakerian. “It also means I get to honor my grandfather.”

Bakerian is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my mom Ilene Terrell,” added Bakerian. “My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She has been through everything possible and she taught me all my morals and values. She served as an army doctor and she influenced my decision to join the military.”

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