By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana, Navy Office of Community Outreach
MILLINGTON, Tenn. – As Americans reflect on the service of military men and women this Veterans Day, some may not realize that they are fellow residents with those who serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Reservists seamlessly support and actively aid military missions while continuing to lead their own independent lives in the civilian world, according to Navy officials.
“The Navy Reserve is a 100K strong team of sailors embedded across the fabric of society, loyal and dedicated patriots, serving both in uniform and civilian jobs, ready to defend the homeland and deploy across the world in a moment’s notice,” said Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve.
The Navy Reserve provides strategic depth to America’s Navy as it protects the American homeland and advances economic prosperity by preserving freedom of the seas.
“Balancing my civilian life with the Navy is very challenging,” said Payton. “I constantly have to re-evaluate my goals and demands for the Navy with the demands of the family and civilian career.”
Payton serves with Coastal Riverine Squadron One responsible for leading 120 sailors. Coastal Riverine Forces are responsible for the safety and security of Merchant Marine ships, Navy ships and U.S. assets who visit shore or “brown” water overseas. They provide security on ships and conduct boat operations on 34 foot boats protecting the assets from pirate boats and terrorist activity.
Payton 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.
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.
“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, Payton is most proud of making the rank of senior chief.
“I’m proud to have earned the rank of senior chief petty officer,” said Payton “Earning this rank was hard work but I have my family and sailors to thank for their support.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Payton who has military ties with family members who have previously servedPaytonis honored to carry on that family tradition.
“An aunt served in the Air Force and a cousin served in the Marine Corps,” said Payton. “I tell my young family members the military is a career where you can make a difference and instill pride in what you do every day. If you want to make a difference, join the military and serve the people of the United States.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Payton 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 military means protecting the people, culture and freedom of the United States of America,” added Payton. “It gives me great pride and honor to be part of a small group of people who serve this country, who when called upon, run to the fight often risking their lives to protect citizens at home.”