By Lt. Sandra Niedzwiecki, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – Chief Petty Officer Anthony Ricard, a native of Martinsville, Virginia, joined the Navy for opportunity.

“At the time that I joined the Navy there wasn’t a lot of economic opportunities in the town where I grew up,” said Ricard. “Joining the Navy gave me job security and the opportunity to go to college and see the world.”

Now, 15 years later, Ricard is stationed with a command responsible for teaching future information warriors the skills required to defend America around the world.

“Leading and developing sailors, learning the Navy’s way of training and the thought process for how we train is exciting,” said Ricard.

Ricard, a 2004 graduate of Laurel Park High School, is an information systems technician operating from the Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) in San Diego.

“I am responsible for teaching littoral combat ship networking maintenance to sailors,” said Ricard.

Ricard credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Martinsville.

“I have learned to be patient and I have learned to slow down and keep my own pace that works for me,” said Ricard. “I have also learned it is important to believe in yourself and have a good support system and family.”

IWTC San Diego is just one component that makes up the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT) domain, headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola Corry Station, Florida.

Charged with developing the future technical cadre of the information warfare community, the CIWT domain leads, manages and delivers Navy and joint force training to 22,000 students annually. With 1,200 military, civilian and contracted staff members, CIWT oversees about 200 courses at four information warfare training commands, two detachments, and additional learning sites located throughout the United States and Japan.

CIWT is responsible for training enlisted cryptologic technicians, information systems technicians, intelligence specialists, and electronics technicians. CIWT also provides training to cryptologic warfare, information professional, intelligence, and foreign area officers that prepares them to be prepared to wage battle and assure the nation’s success in this burgeoning warfare arena.

There are many reasons to be proud of naval service, and Ricard is most proud of making chief petty officer.

“For enlisted, making chief is the pinnacle of your career,” said Ricard. “For me, it also lets you know that no matter what your surroundings are you can always adapt and overcome to achieve your goals.”

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.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Ricard and other sailors and staff know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes serving as a key part of the information warfare community in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries, and developing unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime.

These sailors and staff have a tremendous responsibility in creating war-fighting options for fleet commanders and advising decision-makers at all levels as they serve worldwide aboard ships, submarines and aircraft.

“Serving in the Navy gives me the opportunity to provide for my family,” said Ricard. “It also gives me the opportunity to be part of the world’s greatest Navy.”