Hartsville native serves with U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Navy Office of Community Outreach

Katie Delong. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

NAPLES, Italy — Petty Officer 1st Class Katie Delong, a native of Hartsville, is currently serving with Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) in the U.S. 6th Fleet. Delong is an intelligence specialist responsible for researching and reporting current events, and analyzing historic trends. “My job is a combination of reporter and human resources management,” said Delong. “My passion is caring for people. I manage administrative issues for my team and in my current position, I help others make informed decisions regarding their careers.” The NAVEUR-NAVAF area of responsibility (AOR) covers approximately half of the Atlantic Ocean, from the Arctic Ocean to the coast of Antarctica, as well as the Adriatic, Baltic, Barents, Black, Caspian, Mediterranean, and North Seas. The AOR covers all of Russia and Europe and nearly the entire continent of Africa. It encompasses 105 countries with a combined population of more than 1 billion people and includes a landmass of more than 14 million square miles. Delong, a 2005 Hartsville High School graduate and 2011 Francis Marion University graduate, joined the Navy eight years ago to travel and gain financial stability. “What Mark Twain said was true,” said Delong. “‘Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.’ There is so much to learn and appreciate about our world.” According to Delong, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Hartsville. “Some have a difficult time when transitioning to the Navy, accepting different cultures and backgrounds,” said Delong. “People learn quickly, that stereotypes you may have been exposed to prior to the military do not hold weight in a team environment. Coming from a diverse community, my transition was easy!” Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Delong’s proudest accomplishments are having been able to travel, save for a house, put money aside for retirement, all while advancing in her career. As a member of the U.S. Navy, Delong, 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. “Serving in the Navy means being a part of a team that puts service before self,” said Delong. “I am one of only 337,000 people, willing and able to serve in the U.S. Navy; a very small number compared to our population. We are a family of shared values, and once in a lifetime experiences.”

Author: Rachel Howell

Share This Post On

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
x
6
Posts Remaining