CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A Huntingtown, Maryland, native is serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, where naval aviators learn the skills they need to fly worldwide missions.
1st Lt. Zachary Moren, a 2013 Huntingtown High School graduate, joined the Marine Corps three years ago.
“I joined the Marine Corps because I always wanted to fly and because I wanted to be a part of the camaraderie and pride,” said Moren.
Skills and values learned in the Marines are similar to those found in Huntingtown.
“I have learned that hard work and consistency pays off,” said Moren. “Back home, everyone worked hard, and I saw the benefits from that.”
Moren serves as a student pilot with Training Squadron 31, an advanced multi-engine training squadron located at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas.
“I enjoy flying,” said Moren. “It is a very free feeling, and everyone in this community is amazing to work with.”
The air training program focuses on the increased complexity of today’s aircraft. After completing the rigorous program, naval aviators earned their coveted “Wings of Gold.”
After graduation, pilots continue their training to learn how to fly a specific aircraft, such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter attack jet, the F-35 Lightning strike fighter jet or the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. These aircraft take off from and land on Navy aircraft carriers at sea.
Navy aircraft carriers are designed for a 50-year service life. When the air wing is embarked, the ship carries more than 70 attack fighter jets, helicopters, and other aircraft, all of which take off from and land aboard the carrier at sea. With more than 5,000 sailors, the aircraft carrier is a self-contained mobile airport.
Aircraft carriers are often the first response to a global crisis because of their ability to operate freely in international waters anywhere on the world’s oceans.
Since USS Langley’s commissioning 100 years ago, the nation’s aircraft carriers and embarked carrier air wings have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and maintained enduring commitments worldwide.
“The aircraft carrier is our U.S. Navy’s centerpiece, our flagship, and a constant reminder to the rest of the world of our enduring maritime presence and influence,” said Rear Adm. James P. Downey, USN, Program Executive Officer (PEO) Aircraft Carriers. “These ships touch every part of our Navy’s mission to project power, ensure sea control, and deter our adversaries.”
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 is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
Serving in the Department of Defense means Moren is part of a team taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices supporting the National Defense Strategy.
“The Marine Corps serves a specific purpose in the military,” said Moren. “We are the first to fight and do not back down.”
Moren has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“My proudest accomplishment is completing primary flight school with high grades,” said Moren. “I exceeded my expectations.”
Moren takes pride in serving the country in the Marine Corps.
“Serving means being a part of something bigger than yourself,” added Moren. “Mission always comes first.”