By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO- Nine years ago, Petty Officer 1st Class Loukoumane Mouansie joined the Navy to take advantage of the money available to pay for college and to travel the world. Today, Mouansie is serving aboard USS Boxer, stationed in San Diego.

Mouansie is a culinary specialist responsible for inventory management of the food aboard the ship.

“I like being able to test out new products to see what the crew might like to eat,” said Mouansie.

Mouansie is a 2010 Blake High School graduate and native of Silver Spring, Maryland.

According to Mouansie, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Silver Spring.

“I learned an appreciation for diversity in Silver Spring, so this wasn’t new for me when I came into the Navy,” said Mouansie.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent 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 United States are directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Boxer is an amphibious assault ship that has recently returned from a Western Pacific-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf deployment. It is the sixth ship to carry the name Boxer.

Amphibious assault ships are used to transfer Marines, equipment, and supplies and can support helicopters or other aircraft. They also are capable of accessing 75% of the world’s beaches.

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. Mouansie is most proud of earning his current rank.

“I studied a lot to pass the exam and learned as much as I could about my job,” said Mouansie. “I also had to earn good evaluations.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Mouansie, 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.

“I’ve met a lot of outstanding people in the Navy, and I’ve learned a lot about myself,” said Mouansie. “It’s important to put yourself aside and think about others who support the whole mission.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...