SPOKANE, Wash –
At 6 p.m. May 12 during the Virtual Navy Week held in Spokane, Washington, Rear Admiral Kristen Fabry, a native of Silverdale, Washington, swore-in 20 future sailors into the United States Navy delayed entry program. Fabry is serving as Commander, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime. Director, Logistics, Fleet Supply and Ordnance, N4, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“Your lives are forever going to be changed in just a few short moments as you take the oath of service," said Fabry as she further commended the young men and women on the other side of the camera for voluntarily choosing to raise their right hand in service to our great nation.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more Navy business is being conducted via virtual platforms such as Zoom and Teams. Initial enlistments, re-enlistments and even advancements are utilizing social media platforms to get the job done in times of social distancing.
Petty Officer First Class Nicholas Garrigues, Lead Petty Officer of Division River City from Intake Northwest hosted the enlistment ceremony. Garrigues, a Navy Counselor, said he tried to explain what it meant for the future sailors to be enlisted by RDML Fabry. For future sailor Micah Lasalle whose grandfather was a Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War, he understood how rare it is to have the audience of an admiral.
“It’s not the same as the feeling they would have had in person,” described Garrigues. “For the ones who understood or had come from a military background, this gave them a huge sense of pride.”
After brief introductions, Fabry excitedly expressed how honored she was to represent the United States Navy and partake in such a special moment as they launch their Navy careers. She reassured the young audience they had made a great choice with the “right” branch and they would have many amazing adventures out at sea.
“I love seeing the beautiful trees,” Fabry said, appreciating the setting of their formation for the ceremony. “The pacific northwest Washington state evergreens behind you. It’s absolutely beautiful.”
The future sailors were given encouragement before swearing-in by the admiral who has had a nearly 30-year-career in the United States Navy. Fabry enjoys her adventurous career so much, she joked the Navy will have to make her leave before she will be ready to retire.
“Reflect on the words of the oath and those decisions,” Fabry cautioned the future sailors. “Those decisions turn to reflect on your family and community and is a true call to action. Actions speak louder than words, so make your family and community proud.”
Fabry asserts that their journey will be incredible. The places you can go and the things you can learn in the Navy provide opportunities that you can’t get anywhere else in the world she proclaimed.
“Many of you will be heading out to our state-of-the-art platforms, our ships out there defending our waters, defending our seas and also defending the freedom of navigation for the entire globe,” stressed Fabry.
After the Oath of Enlistment, Fabry opened the floor to any questions the future sailors had.
“You should look forward to the challenges ahead and the rewards that are to come,” Fabry said in response to a question about the challenges she had faced throughout her career. “Learn your job. Master the basics. Take advantage of every opportunity and be a lifelong learner. Don’t ever stagnate.”
Fabry in return challenged the future sailors to find any other job with any other company where every single person was focused on one mission. She described to them the teamwork you see on large aircraft carriers with a crew of around 5,000, all answering a call bigger than themselves by serving our country.
“Every single job that you have, every single place that you are, do the best that you can, the best of your abilities,” Fabry responded to another question. “Be the best you absolutely can be and then your chiefs will take notice of your efforts and how well you’re performing, and other opportunities will be given to you.”
Fabry closed the meeting by telling the new recruits she looked forward to seeing them in their travels and hearing about their sea stories. She hoped one day they would be in her shoes with young sailors asking about their favorite part of their Navy career.