January’s installment of Sailor Spotlight has us tracking down AW Stonewall. With his family’s help we were able to secure this very special sailor’s interview. So, let’s get to it!
Hello Sailor! Foe the record, could you please tell us your name and your rate and when you joined the military?
When you were growing up did you ever fathom that you would be in the military?
Not at all.
What prompted you to look at the armed services as a possible career?
Since I wasn’t playing baseball, I did not want to go to college.
Was picking a branch easy?
Yes, It had more opportunities for me than other branches of the military.
How did you go about choosing the Navy?
I went to see the recruiter in June of 2011, a few weeks before my 18th birthday. He explained the jobs available and gave me information about what would be best for me. I took some time to think about it and signed my contract in October.
Is your experience anything like what the recruiter described?
Not exactly, he did not tell me a lot of what I would be doing in my training.
Was it easy to tell your friends and family that you were thinking of joining? How did they react?
Yes. They were all very proud and happy for me. I am the only one of immediate family to be in the military.
After signing up did you leave for boot camp right away?
No, I joined in October 2011 and was in the Delayed Entry Program until May 8, 2012
Did you have to do anything special to get prepared for boot camp?
I downloaded a Navy Seal Work out Program to condition for boot camp. I did daily sessions of swimming or running, as well as biking and going to the gym.
Can you tell me a little bit about your experience being in the DEP pool?
They taught me the basic knowledge to prepare me for boot camp
Tell me a little bit about your basic training experience. How did you get through it?
Boot camp was a challenging experience to prepare me for Navy life. I was glad I worked out and prepared myself for the physical aspects of Boot camp.
I worked hard everyday. Kept my mouth shut and did what I was told. Staying under the radar always helps.
What was your favorite part about boot camp?
What was your least favorite part about boot camp?
Waking up at 4:00am every day. My division was Spec Ops, so we had a 2 hour workout before breakfast.
Please describe your rank, job title, and primary duties with the Navy: (If OPSEC Allows)
AWS – E2 I completed Rescue Swimmer School in November. I will be promoted to E-4 at graduation from A School in January. Other than that I am Not at liberty to describe duties.
***Do you like it?
F’ing Love it! (can you say that?)
What are your goals while in the Navy?
Not sure yet. I may want to make it a career, but it is too early to tell. If I decide to stay in the Navy, I would like to move up in rank as quickly as possible.
Have you been deployed yet?
No, I still have more training for my job. I will be attending SERE & FRAC before being deployed
*** Can you tell us what SERE and FRAC are?
SERE- Survival Evasion Resistance Escape
FRAC- Fleet Replacement Squadrons
(**** For OPSEC purposes we are not at liberty to discus what those classes entail.****)
Do you know if you will deploy?
Typically how long would a deployment for you last?
What are you most proud of in your service so far?
Finishing RSS. I was one of 8 that graduated from a class of 24 Sailors
How has your career in the Navy affected your life?
I have more discipline and I am a stronger person.
Has your relationships with family, friends, wife changed?
Not really. I am able to communicate with them on a regular basis.
How do you think your life would be different if you never enlisted?
I would be a bored college student. I would have continued to play baseball.
What would you tell someone looking to join the military?
It’s not for everyone. They should explore their options and choose the best fit. It takes a certain type of personality to be able to handle the military life.
Would you tell them to join the Navy?
Yes, The Navy is awesome.
- An Interview with EN Dakota (buoyed-up.com)
- An Interview with DC Vicky Smooth (buoyed-up.com)
- In Their Own Words: An Interview with Dean, Popeye, and Turtle (buoyed-up.com)
Editor’s note: Sailor Spotlight is a recurring feature on the Buoyed Up in which we profile a different Sailor every month. If you have a loved one currently serving or who has served in the past that would like to be showcased, please contact Ollie by email at firstname.lastname@example.org