A Mililani, Hawaii, native and 2007 Mililani High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy at Afloat Training Group Mid Pacific.
Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Rasmussen-Silverstein, an operations specialist, is serving where U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters is located. According to Navy officials, the U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
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As an operations specialist, Rasmussen-Silverstein is responsible for embarking on ships to verify that the crew is well trained and tactically ready if they are called upon for a mission.
“I learned a lot of what to do, and what not to do growing up,” said Rasmussen-Silverstein. “Whatever you choose to do, give it your best.”
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means that Rasmussen-Silverstein is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America’s national defense strategy.
“Our sailors in Pearl Harbor are doing an excellent job at warfighting and supporting the warfighter,” said Cmdr. Hurd, chief staff officer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “Historically, Pearl Harbor is a symbolic base of sacrifice and resiliency. Today, on every Navy ship and shore facility’s flag pole, the First Navy Jack, ‘Don’t Tread on Me,’ flies reminding sailors to move forward and build on the history and legacy of this country and the U.S. Navy.”
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades, according to Navy officials. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
The Navy has plans, by 2020, to base approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region. Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships; submarines; reconnaissance aircraft; and its newest surface warfare ships, including all of the Navy’s new stealth destroyers.
Rasmussen-Silverstein has military ties with family members who have previously served, and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
“I have a grandfather that was in the Navy and another served in the Army during WWII,” said Rasmussen-Silverstein. “They were both influential in my decision to join the military.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Rasmussen-Silverstein and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I feel like I’m honoring a legacy to my grandfather by serving in the Navy,” aid Rasmussen-Silverstein. “I’m serving my country while having an opportunity to experience things that others usually don’t get to experience.”