Fireman Dustin Aldrich

U.S. Navy Fireman Dustin Aldrich is training to be a machinist’s mate.

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.

Fireman Dustin Aldrich, a native of Angleton, is a student at the training center, learning the necessary skills needed to be a machinist’s mate.

A machinist’s mate is responsible for the maintenance of various machinery on board Navy warships.

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.

Aldrich, a 2010 graduate of Angleton High School, credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Angleton.

“I learned to find a way to serve the world while providing yourself opportunity to pursue yourself,” Aldrich said.

Naval Education and Training Command educates and trains those who serve, providing the tools and opportunities which enable lifelong learning, professional and personal growth and development, ensuring fleet readiness and mission accomplishment.

The Chicago-area facility 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 a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

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

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

“My grandfather was in the Navy and my brother currently serves in the Navy as a yeoman,” Aldrich said. “It’s an honor to carry on the family tradition of serving our country.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Aldrich 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 the opportunity to provide for myself and have the opportunity to pursue my own life,” Aldrich said.

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