BY MASS COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST 1ST CLASS JAMES GREEN, Navy Office of Community Outreach
MAYPORT, FL. – Petty Officer 3rd Class Rodney Salomon, a native of Apopka, Florida, is serving aboard USS Winston S. Churchill, a U.S. Navy warship, operating out of Mayport, Florida.
Salomon, a 2019 graduate of Apopka High School, joined the Navy two years ago.
“I joined the Navy to seek better opportunities,” said Salomon. “I was looking for a chance to grow and set myself up for the future.”
Today, Salomon relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Apopka to succeed in the military.
“Growing up, I learned to never give up and how to overcome anything life throws at you,” said Salomon. “Those values helped me stay persistent and focused on the mission.”
These lessons have helped Salomon while serving in the Navy.
Winston S. Churchill is a guided-missile destroyer that provides a wide range of warfighting capabilities. The destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.
More than 300 sailors serve aboard Winston S. Churchill. Their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.
With 90 percent 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.
“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”
Serving in the Navy means Salomon is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The U.S. Navy is instrumental in protecting our coasts and our freedoms,” said Salomon. “We protect our assets and our way of life.”
Salomon and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I’m most proud of advancing in rank to petty officer third class,” said Salomon. “I faced a lot of adversity and it was something I was really striving for.”
As Salomon and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means I am able to provide for my family,” said Salomon. “Having a son puts what is important into perspective. Providing for him is what is most important and the Navy allows me to do that.”
Salomon is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank my dad, mom, and uncle,” said Salomon. “They have supported me throughout my career and continue to do so.”