Cookeville native supports “Silent Service” at submarine training center

PEARL HARBOR – A Cookeville native and 2005 Warren County High School graduate is serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Johnson has served for eight-and-a-half years and works as a Navy electronics technician (submarine) and is serving within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations. The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.

As a Navy electronics technician (submarine), Johnson is responsible for Navy nuclear propulsion and Navy reactor safety aboard Navy nuclear powered submarines.

Johnson credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Cookeville.

“There is more to life than staying in one spot,” said Johnson. “Being in the Navy has opened the world to me. At this point I have worked and visited over 10 countries and experienced many unique memories.”

A key element of the Navy 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. 

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.

Sailors learn engineering and tactical team training during their courses of instruction required to serve aboard submarines using the most advanced technology. Training is tailored to each ship’s specific needs to develop the skills and expertise required to support operations around the world in war and peace.

Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to in defense circles as the gateway to the Pacific, means Johnson 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.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Johnson is most proud of making Junior Sailor of the Year in 2016 aboard the USS Hawaii.

“I was the first second class petty officer to ever qualify as Engineering Watch Supervisor in the Hawaii’s lifetime,” said Johnson. 

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Johnson and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes. 

“Serving is about doing what others don’t see behind the scenes and knowing my wife is safe at home, as well as my family on the far Eastern coast, living their lives peacefully,” added Johnson. “I also serve for the random people who thank me for my service so they can experience the joys of being part of the greatest country in the world.”

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