Sunrise Native Trains to be a U.S. Navy Future Warfighter

By Lt. Kat Smith, Navy Office of Community Outreach

GREAT LAKES, Ill. – Sailors are some of the most highly-trained people on the planet, according to 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 Reanna Spence, a native of Sunrise, Florida, is a student at NETC, learning the necessary skills needed to be a culinary specialist. 

A culinary specialist is responsible for providing high-quality nutritious meals to sailors in the fleet. 

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. 

Spence, a 2018 graduate of Plantation High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Sunrise.

Where I’m from, I learned to be strong-minded because people in my town grow up independent, which gives you mental strength,” Spence said. “It helps me now because I’m mentally prepared for what’s being thrown at me in the Navy.”

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

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 the coast, and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

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

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.” 

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Spence, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Spence is honored to carry on the family tradition.

My uncle served in the Navy and I’m the first one to do something big like this,” Spence said. “My decision to serve has influenced a lot of my family members who now want to join, and that makes me feel really good.” 

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Spence 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 giving myself a purpose and to me, this is more than just a job,” Spence said.