Saul Chavez

Seaman Recruit Saul Chavez of Fontana is a student at Naval Education and Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.

GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Sailors are some of the most highly-trained people on the planet, according to U.S. Navy officials, and this training requires highly-dedicated instructors.

At Naval Education and Training Command, instructors at advanced technical schools teach sailors to be highly skilled, operational, and combat ready warfighters, while providing the tools and opportunities for continuous learning and development.

Seaman Recruit Saul Chavez, a native of Fontana, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be a quartermaster.

A quartermaster is responsible for navigating and maneuvering Navy warships to keep and maintain freedom of the seas.

Students attend advanced technical schools after “boot camp.” They are taught the basic technical knowledge and skills required to be successful in their new careers.

Chavez, a 2018 graduate of Fontana High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Fontana.

“My parents instilled in me a hard work ethic and responsibility that has made me a better overall person,” Chavez said.

NETC educates and trains those who serve, providing the tools and opportunities which enable life-long learning, professional and personal growth and development.

NETC is made up of six commands that provide a continuum of professional education and training in support of Surface Navy requirements that prepare enlisted sailors and officers to serve at sea, providing apprentice and specialized skills training to 7,500 sailors a year.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, 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.

Chavez plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of National Defense Strategy.

“I’m the first of my family to serve in the military, but I hope to start a legacy for the Chavez family serving our country,” Chavez said.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Chavez 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 Navy means the world to me,” Chavez said. “Growing up, I dreamed of contributing to this beautiful nation and I believe I owe it to those who have gone before me, to be a part of something greater than myself.”

(Rick Burke is a member of the Navy Office of Community Outreach.)

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