Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different. With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed around the world, sailors and civilians serving with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, advise Navy leaders about the impact of ocean and atmospheric conditions on future operations.
Petty Officer Third Class Martin Nepita, a 2017 Estrella Foothills High School graduate and native of Goodyear, is one of those responsible for providing timely, comprehensive and tactically relevant information for ships, submarines, aircraft and other commands operating throughout the globe.
As a Navy aerographer’s mate, Nepita is responsible for surveying the bottom of the ocean looking for obstructions.
Nepita credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in Goodyear.
“Growing up in Arizona, I learned the importance of working hard and honesty,” Nepita said.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water; 80% of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90% of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“Naval Oceanography defines and applies the physical environment for the entire Navy fleet from the bottom of the ocean to the stars,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “There isn’t a plane that flies, a ship or a submarine that gets underway without the sailors and civilians of Naval Oceanography.”
Nepita is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways to earn distinction in a command, community and career, Nepita is most proud of receiving a letter of appreciation from an admiral.
“I represented naval oceanography in the local community and shared with children what we do in the Navy,” Nepita said.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Nepita, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Nepita is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My uncles both served in the Army, and they told me the military is a great milestone that could help me get to where I want to be,” Nepita said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Nepita and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy means that I get to protect the values of the United States,” Nepita added. “I also value the people I have met during my time in the Navy.”