Navy Office of Community Outreach | Special to the OBSERVER

Petty Officer 1st Class Vanessa Silva

A native of Sacramento, California, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile cruiser, USS Cowpens.

Petty Officer 1st Class Vanessa Silva, a 2006 Laguna Creek High School graduate, joined the Navy 15 years ago.

“I was inspired to join the Navy because of family tradition,” Silva said. “I have several family members who have served and are still serving in the armed forces. I wanted to serve alongside them.”

Today, Silva serves as a retail services specialist. 

Silva relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Sacramento to succeed in the military.

“Growing up, I learned that a positive attitude goes a long way,” she said. “I also have learned that treating others with respect, no matter who they are, will help you be successful.”

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Cowpens is named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Cowpens, a major American victory near Cowpens, South Carolina. The historic battle weakened British attempts to wrest the southern colonies from American control.

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance, according to Navy officials.

Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, cruisers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any task overseas.

Serving in the Navy means Silva is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is important to national defense because we are the sea power,” Silva said. “When people say ‘Navy’ they think of the United States Navy and how we maintain peace and security around the globe.”

Sailors like Silva, have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest Navy accomplishment is being promoted to petty officer first class,” Silva said.

As Silva and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means being somebody that my daughters and other little girls can look up to,” added Silva.