Meridian native is an information warrior

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller

Navy Chief Petty Officer Amy Cruz is a 2005 Northeast Lauderdale High School graduate and native of Meridian.

SAN DIEGO – Those serving at The Information Warrior Training Command in San Diego believe in the importance of continued education. Sailors are trained in areas they’ll need to execute information warfare throughout their military service. One of the sailors continuing the tradition of maritime superiority through information warfare is Chief Petty Officer Amy Cruz, an information systems technician who instructs sailors on information systems.

“Training here gives me the opportunity to expand my technical knowledge, enhance my professional skillset, and allows me to progress to a higher pay grade,” Cruz said.

Cruz is a 2005 Northeast Lauderdale High School graduate and native of Meridian, Mississippi.

According to Cruz, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Meridian.

“Meridian taught me to be personable,” Cruz said. “I allow myself to be empathic to other's situations and their life changes. It is that southern hospitality mentality which I use every day in my Navy service.”

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Each year the CIWT domain trains approximately 20,000 students comprised of military members from all branches and Department of Defense civilians. Throughout the program, participants can take any of the 200 classes offered to prepare them for battle.

The CIWT domain along with all other Navy training commands are transforming and innovating their training programs through Ready, Relevant Learning, a pillar of Sailor 2025. Sailor 2025 is a program that uses modern personnel management and training systems to recruit, develop, and retain sailors for the future of the Navy. RRL delivers a modernized learning continuum that aligns training with fleet requirements and warfighter needs. The long-term vision of RRL is to take modernized training to the point of need in the fleet at the waterfront.

According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.

“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” Gilday said. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Cruz is most proud of making chief petty officer.

“It is a milestone that not every sailor gets to experience,” Cruz said. “Only the top 3 percent of the Navy become chief petty officers, so the selection in itself speaks to what I have done in my Navy career and what my junior sailors have done for me to help me get here.”

For Cruz, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations.

“My brother and I joined the Navy about a month apart,” Cruz said. “We often compete for promotions and qualifications. My brother and I get to share experiences, accomplishments and stories of overcoming adversity.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Cruz, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy means the opportunity to give back to my community, motivate others, to overcome challenges and grow from them,” said Cruz. “It means encouraging people to be better overall in their personal and professional lives.”

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