(Media release from the U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach):

Seaman Recruit Damian Cook, a native of Rome, Georgia, serves in Japan aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge.

Cook graduated from Model High School in 2016.
The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Rome.

“I learned the value of hard work,” said Cook. “My family always pushed me to both have a hard working ethic and to make the best of the situations I’m in.”

Today, Cook serves as a mass communications specialist.
“I joined for the opportunities that service presented,” said Cook. “I also wanted to travel and really broaden my understanding of other cultures.”
Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as the 7th Fleet command ship, supports an admiral’s staff that actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.
With 90% 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 recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.
Cook serves in Japan as part of the forward-deployed naval forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.
“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Adm. Lisa Franchetti, chief of naval operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”
Cook has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“I’m proud of my ability to adapt,” said Cook. “In 10 months, I’ve been across the states and now I’m in another country altogether.”
Cook can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Service is about the broader picture,” said Cook. “You’re part of a team, you’re never really alone. I have family back home, but I’ll have family wherever I’m stationed, too.”
Cook is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I’d like to thank my parents in particular,” added Cook. “They’ve always been super supportive. I didn’t tell my mom until just a couple weeks before I joined, but she was completely on board.”

Photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel.