Aurora Native Serves Aboard forward-deployed Navy warship in Japan

Petty Officer 1st Class Emmanuel Garcia, a native of Aurora, Illinois, serves in Japan aboard a forward-deployed U.S. Navy warship.

Garcia graduated from Larkin High School in 2006.

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

“I learned and understood the difference between street smarts and book smarts,” said Garcia. “I’m originally from Chicago but moved to Aurora, Illinois at the age of 17. Understanding and learning the differences between the types of ‘smartness’ allowed me to be aware of my surroundings and allowed me to progress and identify emerging issues before they become problems.”

Garcia joined the Navy 15 years ago. Today, Garcia serves as an operations specialist.

“I joined the Navy for the travel and career opportunities,” said Garcia.

USS John Finn, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, provides a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.

A Navy destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.

More than 300 sailors serve aboard USS John Finn Their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.

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.

Garcia 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.”

Garcia has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud of being able to experience other people’s experiences and accomplishing other people’s bucket lists,” said Garcia. “Serving in the Navy means you get to do things that many others don’t get to do.”

Garcia can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy means that family is not always bonded by blood,” said Garcia. “We are assigned a family at birth, but the Navy allows you to pick and choose other family members as well and build stronger relationships and connections.”

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

“Thank you to the people who have helped me on my journey,” added Garcia. “If you know me, you know who you are.”

Story By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jerry Jimenez, Navy Office of Community Outreach