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Glen Ellyn native serves aboard Navy warship in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. - Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey Parker, a native of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, serves aboard a U.S. Navy warship operating out of Norfolk, Virginia. Parker graduated in 2013 from Glenbard West High School.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Glen Ellyn. "The biggest thing I learned in my hometown is to never be satisfied with where I'm at and to always strive for the next big thing," said Parker.

Parker joined the Navy four years ago. Today, Parker serves as a master at arms aboard USS Kearsarge. "I joined the Navy to develop leadership skills and challenge myself," said Parker. "I knew that the Navy would help me reach the life goals I've always had in mind for myself."

Kearsarge's crew is made up of approximately 1,200 crewmembers and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies, and can support helicopters or other aircraft. Kearsarge is the third ship in the Wasp class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and is the fourth Navy vessel to bear the name of Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire.

Serving in the Navy means Parker 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 contributes to national defense by being the strongest and most capable naval force in the world," said Parker. "We give our nation and our allies peace of mind."

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.

Parker has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service. "My proudest moment in the Navy was being meritoriously promoted to petty officer 3rd class in September of 2021," said Parker. "It gave me a huge boost in confidence and motivation when I really needed it."

As Parker 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 being part of something bigger than myself," said Parker. "It's an honor to be a small part of something that makes such a big difference in the world."

Parker is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible. "I'd like to thank my parents, Randy and Sharon, for helping develop me into a young adult," added Parker. "They taught me leadership and a strong work ethic that stuck with me my whole life."


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