REGIONAL: Troy native serves aboard forward-deployed Navy warship in Japan

Published 3:49 pm Monday, June 5, 2023

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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Xiaoming Zheng, Navy Office of Community Outreach

YOKOSUKA, Japan – Petty Officer 2nd Class Devin Ward, a native of Troy, serves in Japan aboard a forward-deployed U.S. Navy warship.

Photo by Lt. Cmdr. Jake Joy, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Ward joined the Navy five years ago. Today, Ward serves as a damage controlman aboard USS Dewey.

“I joined the Navy because I always thought the ocean was calling me to go,” said Ward. “I was also on the swim team in high school, and I really like swimming.”

Growing up in Troy, Ward attended East Montgomery High School and graduated in 2018.

Today, Ward relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Troy to succeed in the military.

“My dad gave me all the best advice growing up,” said Ward. “It takes all kinds to make the world go around. It takes a “one team, one fight” mentality to make it a well-oiled machine.”

Modern U.S. Navy surface ships provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.

A Navy surface ship is capable of operating independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups or expeditionary strike groups.

Jobs aboard a U.S. Navy ship are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. 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.

As a member of the Navy, Ward is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to our national defense because of our ability to deter and show presence,” said Ward. “Without it, we will not have our freedom and the free choices we have today.”

Ward 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.

“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence,” said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. “Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend – across all domains – any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being.”

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

“The most proud accomplishment in the Navy was when I got all of my qualifications,” said Ward. “I enjoy passing off my training to my fellow sailors.”

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

“Serving in the Navy means showing up every day,” said Ward. “It means I am part of something bigger than myself.”

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

“I would like my dad, Shawn Ward, and my wife, Krista Ward,” said Ward. “If it wasn’t for my dad, I would not have joined, and if it wasn’t for my wife, I would not have stayed in.”

“I want to do 20 years and retire from the Navy,” added Ward. “I want to count myself among the productive members of the society.”