Two Mesa natives are serving the country as sailors in two distinctly different ways.
Seaman Apprentice Myka Lance is a student at the Naval Education and Training Center learning to be a machinist’s mate, working various air compressors, hydraulic systems and auxiliary systems aboard warships.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Loudenback is a Navy master-at-arms in the security department at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the world’s largest fleet command.
Lance, a 2018 graduate of Red Mountain High School, credits her success in the Navy to many of the lessons she learned growing up in Mesa.
“I learned that everyone is different in their own ways and the Navy is a big melting pot,” Lance said. “Everyone really comes together and works hard no matter what.”
Sailors are some of the most highly-trained people on the planet, according to Navy officials, and her training requires highly-dedicated instructors.
Six commands provide a continuum of professional education and training at NETC in support of Surface Navy requirements preparing enlisted sailors and officers to serve at sea, and providing apprentice and specialized skills training to 7,500 sailors a year.
“Lance plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the national defense strategy,” the Navy said in a release.
“As a female, I want other women to know they can serve and protect their country as well,” Lance said. “I feel honored to be in the Navy and work with such great people.”
A 2013 Desert Ridge High School graduate, Loudenback is responsible for maintaining law enforcement on the base, and driving the boats to escort the Navy’s large warships safely.
“I like the potential in this rate for diverse opportunities,” said Loudenback, “I have opportunities like dog handling to law enforcement to boat security.”
Loudenback credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons he learned in Mesa.
“I have received endless support from my family, especially my father, who still acts as my pillar of moral support,” said Loudenback.
The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world’s population, many of the world’s largest and smallest economies, several of the world’s largest militaries, and many U.S. allies. The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades.
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Loudenback is most proud of earning a Letter of Commendation from an admiral following his five-year tour in Japan.
“I acted as the armorer, issuing weapons, as well as providing boat security,” said Loudenback.
Loudenback was inspired to serve for many reasons.
“I’m the first from my family to serve,” said Loudenback. “I really wanted the sense of worth and direction that the Navy provides. The traveling is cool, too.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Loudenback is “part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs,” the Navy said.
“Being a part of a team in such a large scale is very rewarding,” Loudenback said. “Through good or bad, even the people you may not always get along with have the same mentality — one team, one fight.”