Sailor with family ties to Fredericksburg serves at Aviation Enlisted Aircrew Training School

by | Dec 9, 2023 | Military

Courtesy U-S Navy

PENSACOLA, Fla. – Airman Ocean Yates, a sailor with family ties to Fredericksburg serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Aviation Enlisted Aircrew Training School.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those instilled by Yates’ family.

“I learned from my family to help others, problem solve, to be alert and to figure things out by myself,” said Yates. “It is important in the Navy to watch out for your shipmates, be on alert for anything dangerous and figure stuff out on your own because there is not always going to be someone there to help you.”

Yates joined the Navy eight months ago.

“I grew up in a military household and our family military service goes back since before the Mayflower,” said Yates. “I joined the Navy to continue that tradition of military service and to give back to my country.”

Aviation Enlisted Aircrew Training School provides training to enlisted aircrew and rescue swimmer candidates. The training is physically demanding and involves instruction on topics such as aircrew duties and assignments, survival, first aid and water rescue procedures. With these skills, enlisted aviation personnel from the Navy and Marine Corps will eventually be assigned to fleet squadrons as naval aircrewmen.

This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. Our nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service.

“Having a cadre of students who are eager to learn and extremely hardworking, ensures we offer the best and brightest for naval aviation and the Naval Aircrew community,” said Capt. Brad Arthur, commanding officer, Naval Aviation Schools Command.

Serving in the Navy means Yates 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.

“The Navy provides freedom to our country by keeping the shipping lanes open and by responding to conflicts if needed,” said Yates.

With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

Yates has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud of joining the Navy and continuing my family legacy,” said Yates.

As Yates and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means honor, courage and commitment,” said Yates.

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

“I want to thank my wife, Kaylee, my parents, Mike and Sophia, my recruiters, Fire Controlman 1st Class Havish and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class Tolar, and my Recruit Division Commander Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class Smith for pushing me to follow my dreams,” added Yates.

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