Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence Deal, a Lady Lake native, has serve in the United States Navy for 15 years. He is a Navy machinist’s mate (auxiliary) and is currently serving within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
As a Navy machinist’s mate (auxiliary), Lawrence is
responsible for maintaining oxygen systems, hydraulic, air, water, sanitary
atmosphere control equipment, diesel and damage control equipment.
Lawrence credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Lady Lake.
“Moving around every few years helped me to be able to adapt to new settings quickly, which has really helped me easily adapt in the Navy,” said Lawrence.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, 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.
Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.
Sailors learn engineering and tactical team training during their courses of instruction required to serve aboard submarines using the most advanced technology. Training is tailored to each ship’s specific needs to develop the skills and expertise required to support operations around the world in war and peace.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to in defense circles as the gateway to the Pacific, means Lawrence is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries, and many U.S. allies. The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Lawrence is most proud of earning the enlisted submarine warfare qualification in 2015.
“I am proud of earning this pin because I was able to get the same ones that were given to my dad,” said Lawrence.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Lawrence, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Lawrence is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My dad was a submariner, one of my other uncles was in the Navy and another uncle and grandfather was in the Army,” said Lawrence. “There’s a long line of family tradition to join the military. I really just wanted to do what my dad did with his career.”
According to Navy officials, supporting the high operational tempo and unique challenges of the submarine force builds strong fellowship and a strong sense of mission.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Lawrence 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 gives me a sense of pride in my country and family tradition,” added Lawrence. “Knowing that I am making people’s lives better by being able to protect the things they love the most makes me proud.”