Personal Experience and The Heroic Influences of the Submarine Community

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“Congratulations! On behalf of ADM RRR, welcome to the Submarine Community!” With a handshake and a great deal of relief, I ended the most stressful and undoubtedly memorable day of my life: the nuclear community interview. 31 October 2013 was more than just another Halloween. For me, this day began a series of events that, while not yet fully realized, will unalterably change the trajectory of my life. That fall day in October was now over six months ago. The induced stress of the interview has long since passed. The rush of Firstie Year at the United States Naval Academy quickly filled its place. As a post-service selection Firstie at the Naval Academy, countless events are devoted to celebrating assigned services and discussing future careers. As the collective Class of 2014, we are just days away from accepting our commissions to be a part of the next generation of Naval and Marine Corps officers. Community dinners, receptions, and award ceremonies to celebrate the passing of our four years at the Naval Academy fill the months leading up to Commissioning Week. Unlike a conventional undergraduate college, in which careers and education occupy separate spheres of influence, the Naval Academy and its parent services, the US Navy and US Marine Corps, share a common and storied tradition. Commissioning Week is merely the beginning of a long and promising career in the US Navy or US Marine Corps. This final week as midshipmen is the instigator and fulfillment of the final commitment of the Academy’s mission: to develop leaders “dedicated to a career of Naval Service” in order “to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government”. The Class of 2014’s future rests at its doorstep. On 23 May 2014, our Nava... ... middle of paper ... ...O communities. In the Asia-Pacific region, China continues to strain diplomatic relations with neighboring countries, especially as the Chinese Navy expands its capabilities and influence farther from its internationally recognized territorial waters. The death of Kim Jong-il in December of 2011 led to his son, Kim Jong-un’s, succession as the Supreme Leader of North Korea. Military threats from North Korea continue to harm international harmony. North Korea’s pursuit for nuclear weapons in defiance of international sanctions promotes further unrest on the Korean Peninsula. Off the coast of Africa, pirates from Somalia continue to seize merchant vessels transiting international water lanes. In each case, the US Navy has had a keen interest and, in many instances, dedicated full support to maintain United States diplomacy in pursuit of foreign policy objectives.

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