Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordan Jennings
“I joined the Navy to be a better role model for my younger siblings,” said Smith. Growing up in Houston, Smith attended Madison High School and graduated in 2017. Today, Smith relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Houston to succeed in the military. “The most valuable lesson I learned from home and family is to always remember to be grateful that I have the opportunity to serve,” said Smith. These lessons have helped Smith while serving at Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 50. The CMV-22B is the Navy’s version of the U.S. Marines’ V-22 Osprey. It is designed to replace the C-2A Greyhound, which has provided logistical support to aircraft carriers for four decades. CMV-22Bs are vertical takeoff and landing tilt-rotor aircraft, which have an increased operational range, faster cargo loading/unloading, increased survivability and enhanced communications compared to the C-2A Greyhound.
According to Navy officials, the mission of the CMV-22B is to provide timely, persistent air logistics for sustained carrier strike group lethality, anywhere in the world. This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola. One year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally, and today women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. According to Navy officials, our Nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service. 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.
As a member of the Navy, Smith is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy. “The Navy’s physical presence around the world has a psychological effect on our adversaries,” said Smith. “They know not to mess with us.” Smith has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service. “I am proud of the fact that I have made it this far in the Navy,” said Smith. “I almost quit early on, but I’m glad I didn’t. I feel like I’m in the Navy for a reason.” As Smith and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.