MAYPORT — Seven years ago, Lt. Rebekah Fleming joined the Navy for the education and career opportunities it would provide her, and she is now serving on the staff of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet.

Fleming is a surface warfare officer who is responsible for leading sailors underway and ashore, and ensuring the safe navigation of navy ships.

“My favorite part of my job is how dynamic it is,” said Fleming. “Each job I have had has been different and uniquely challenging, and I just don’t see myself getting bored in my career.”

Fleming is a 2009 Genesee Valley Central School graduate and native of Angelica. According to Fleming, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in there.

“Growing up in Angelica taught me the importance of resiliency and the value of hard work,” said Fleming.

With more than 90% of all trade traveling by sea, and 95% of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the U.S. is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined military operations by employing maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.

“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Fleming is most proud of building her reputation as a naval officer who is competent and reliable.

“I like filling the role of ‘command utility player’,” said Fleming. “I can be relied on by peers, senior officers, and more junior sailors to get the job done, and my goal is always to ensure the success of my command.”

For Fleming, serving in the military is a tradition passed down from generations and one Fleming hopes to continue.

“My dad was in the Air Force and my mom was in the Navy,” said Fleming. “It is really important to me that I can share my experiences with my nieces and nephews, and encourage them to consider a career in the military.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Fleming, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“The Navy has provided me with opportunities for personal and professional growth that I don’t think I would have been afforded in a different career,” said Fleming.