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CHIPS Articles: Chesapeake Native Serves as a Member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ in Pearl Harbor

Chesapeake Native Serves as a Member of U.S. Navy’s ‘Silent Service’ in Pearl Harbor
By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Erica R. Gardner, Navy Office of Community Outreach - February 15, 2019
PEARL HARBOR – Modern attack submarines are the most technologically advanced and capable undersea warfighters in the world. Operating these highly complex submarines require sailors from the U.S. Navy’s submarine community, also known as the ‘Silent Service.’

Seaman Taivon Herrine, a 2017 Oscar Smith High School graduate and native of Chesapeake, Virginia, has served for one year and works as a Navy logistics specialist serving aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines, USS Charlotte, homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

As a Navy logistics specialist, Herrine is responsible for maintaining and stocking items for the submarine and support the supply division.

Herrine credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Chesapeake.

“Achieving the rank of master chief in Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Course taught me leadership skills and working in several department stores taught me patience and everything that comes with working in those environments,” said Herrine.

Jobs are highly varied aboard the submarine. Approximately 130 sailors make up the submarine’s crew, doing everything from handling weapons to maintaining nuclear reactors.

Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

Because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. Submariners are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. Regardless of their specialty, everyone has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Herrine is most proud of graduating from boot camp in 2018.

“I am now a part of something big,” said Herrine.

Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Herrine is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance 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,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades. 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.

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Herrine, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Herrine is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My mother was an E-5 in the Army in the transportation department,” said Herrine. “I am continuing the legacy of being in the military and my mom influenced me to join.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Herrine and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving helps me to support my son and wife and provide protection for our country,” added Herrine.

TAGS: Spectrum
Seaman Taivon Herrine. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt.
Seaman Taivon Herrine. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian T. Glunt.

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