As Americans reflect on the service of military men and women this Veterans Day, some may not realize that they are fellow residents with those who serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Petty Officer 1st Class Trent Maher, a resident of Waunakee, Wisconsin, and 2004 Apache Junction High School graduate, supports and defends freedom around the world, as a Navy operations specialist who is responsible for operating radars and providing a clear operational picture of the battlefield whether that be at sea or on land.
Reservists seamlessly support and actively aid military missions while continuing to lead their own independent lives in the civilian world, according to Navy officials.
“The Navy Reserve is a 100,000-strong team of sailors embedded across the fabric of society, loyal and dedicated patriots, serving both in uniform and civilian jobs, ready to defend the homeland and deploy across the world in a moment’s notice,” said Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve.
The Navy Reserve provides strategic depth to America’s Navy as it protects the American homeland and advances economic prosperity by preserving freedom of the seas.
Maher strives to balance his civilian and Navy life while still being there for his sailor.
“I try to allocate time outside of my civilian job to be available for junior sailors,” said Maher.
As a Navy reservist, Maher serves with U.S. Northern Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command specializing in common operational picture management. He is the sponsorship leading petty officer responsible for on boarding new sailors to the command.
Maher is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
“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.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Maher is most proud of being able to help junior sailors navigate the Navy reserves.
“I just make sure I'm always available,” said Maher. “We are one weekend a month, two weeks a year to the outside world; however, in reality to be successful in the reserves it takes a lot of off hours work and dedication to make sure your sailors succeed. Anything I can do to make that transition easier for them, and to see them succeed makes me most proud.”
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Maher who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Maher is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“I come from a line of sailors,” said Maher “My grandpa, dad and brother were all in the service.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Maher and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I joined to travel the world,” added Maher. “Over the last 16 years, I have quickly realized serving is an honor to my country. I think when I come up on retirement in a few years, I'm going to miss the opportunities that the Navy has provided me.”