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Stafford native serves with Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Amber Weingart, Navy Office of Community Outreach

NORFOLK, Va. – Petty Officer 1st Class Sheyanne Barnett, a native of Stafford, Virginia, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Maritime Security Squadron 10 in support of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.

Barnett joined the Navy 17 years ago. Today, Barnett serves as a boatswain’s mate.

“I joined the Navy because I wanted to uphold my family tradition,” said Barnett.  “My dad, grandfather and two sisters all served. I’ve seen the beautiful locations where my family have traveled to. I really wanted to experience that for myself.”

Growing up in Stafford, Barnett attended North Stafford High and graduated in 2004. Today, Barnett relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Stafford to succeed in the military.

“The lessons I learned from my hometown were to work hard for what you want because you don’t always get a handout,” said Barnett. “I sincerely believe you have to put in the effort and time needed for where you want to be.”

These lessons have helped Barnett while serving with the Navy.

Navy Expeditionary Combat Command was established in 2006 and is comprised of 20,000 active and reserve personnel serving around the world. They bridge the gap between sea and shore and support the fleet and joint force by clearing hazards, securing critical maritime terrain, building infrastructure, and protecting military forces. NECC includes Navy divers, expeditionary logistics, explosive ordnance disposal, expeditionary intelligence, and the Seabees.

“In many warfare communities across the Navy, there is a lot of focus on platforms and systems – ships, submarines, and aircraft, which are all a very integral part of our maritime force,” said NECC Force Master Chief Rick Straney. “For us in the expeditionary forces, our people are our weapons system.  They represent an inherently mobile option for commanders to use around the world in a variety of complex, remote, and austere environments.  We focus a lot of our effort on ensuring our warriors maintain a level of proficiency and readiness that enhances the ability of those larger platforms to do what they do at the time and point of need.”

Serving in the Navy means Barnett is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we keep our country safe from adversaries,” said Barnett.

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 the importance of accelerating America’s advantage at sea.

“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy—forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power—deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships, and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”

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

“My proudest Navy accomplishment is that I have had the opportunity to serve for 17 years,” said Barnett. “There have been many setbacks that I’ve overcome to be where I am today. These have helped me further my resiliency and my career.”

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

“To me, serving in the Navy means that I am making a difference while protecting my family,” added Barnett. “Another benefit is that I have made lifelong friends along the way.”

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