At home and overseas: Warren native serves aboard U.S. Navy flagship in Japan

Photo submitted to the Times Observer Jonathan Durnell is pictured on the USS Blue Ridge.

YOKOSUKA, Japan – Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Durnell, a native of Warren, serves in Japan aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge.

Durnell graduated from Warren Area High School in 2009.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Warren.

“I learned to always keep your promises, don’t start something unless you plan to finish it, and to always have patience and compassion for others,” said Durnell.

Durnell joined the Navy 14 years ago. Today, Durnell serves as a hospital corpsman.

“I joined the Navy to serve my country, travel the world and broaden my horizons,” said Durnell.

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.

Durnell 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.”

Durnell has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud of my junior sailors being able to use what I have learned to help develop the next generation who will be taken over,” said Durnell. “My junior sailors are my proudest accomplishment.”

Durnell can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy means sacrifice,” said Durnell. “I have missed funerals and milestones in my friends’ lives, but it’s worth every minute because we make this sacrifice so that other people don’t necessarily have to.”

Durnell is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank the elders at my church, my scout leaders, my parents, my aunt and my uncle,” added Durnell.


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