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Petty Officer 3rd Class Montreye Edwards

Petty Officer 3rd Class Montreye Edwards, a native of Ocala, Florida, serves the U.S. Navy at Littoral Combat Ship Mine Division TWELVE operating out of San Diego, California.

Edwards joined the Navy two years ago. Today, Edwards serves as an engineman.

“I am a third-generation sailor,” said Edwards. “My uncle and grandfather were both in the Navy and inspired me to join. It was a better opportunity for my life.”

Growing up in Ocala, Edwards attended Vanguard High School and graduated in 2019. Today, Edwards uses the same skills and values learned in Ocala to succeed in the military.

“My spiritual background has kept me grounded,” said Edwards. “I put God first and just continue to pray.”

These lessons have helped Edwards while serving in the Navy.

California has thirty-two military bases within its borders, which is more than any other state. According to Navy officials, Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps’ bases are clustered most heavily around San Diego.

Serving in the Navy means Edwards is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“We help protect other countries,” said Edwards. “Our presence alone is dominant and acts as a deterrent.”

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.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

Edwards and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I’m most proud of helping others with what I’ve learned through the experiences that I’ve gained,” said Edwards.

As Edwards and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means that I am able to represent my family and my community,” added Edwards. “That knowledge pushes me to stay positive.”