Chicago Native Serves At U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron In Japan

Chief Petty Officer Lauren Walter (Credit: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel).

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

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, JAPAN. — Chief Petty Officer Lauren Walter, a native of Chicago, Illinois, serves in the U.S. Navy as a member of a helicopter squadron forward deployed to Japan.

Walter graduated from John Hope College Preparatory High School in 2008.

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

“Growing up, I learned resiliency,” said Walter. “I also learned how to survive and adapt. No matter how bad things seem, it will always get better.”

Walter joined the Navy 11 years ago. Today, Walter serves as a yeoman.

“When I joined the Navy, it was very spontaneous,” said Walter. “I was in college and went to a Navy recruiter and signed up. I enjoy that I can play a part in keeping our country safe.”

Members of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. Some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.

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.

Walter 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.”

Walter has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud of earning the rank of petty officer first class in six years and being pinned as a chief,” said Walter.

Walter can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy means selflessness,” said Walter. “It is very selfless. It means having honor for what the flag stands for. It’s for every civilian that the flag protects and having the honor to be a part of that.”

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

“I would like to thank my father,” added Walter. “If he would have said no I would not have done it. I’m a daddy’s girl to the heart.”


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