SAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 1st Class Jedadia Gardner, a native of Grass Valley, California, joined the Navy for financial, travel and educational opportunities.
Now, seven years later, Gardner is stationed with the Center for Surface Combat Systems (CSCS) San Diego, which trains sailors in the operation and maintenance of shipboard weapons and sensors.
“The training we implement at Det San Diego is an example of how Ready, Relevant Learning is shaping a more capable and lethal force,” explained Capt. Dave Stoner, CSCS commanding officer. “Through innovative solutions, such as our Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense and Anti-Submarine Warfare Trainer, known as CIAT and our newest, mobile combat simulator, the On Demand Trainer, we are moving away from the traditional instructor-led training at the podium and creating an immersive learning environment facilitated by an instructor that improves individual performance and in turn, shaping confident and competent sailors who know how to fight and win. To be victorious in our next fight, sailors must know how to extract every bit of warfighting capability resident in our ships.”
Gardner, a 2006 graduate of Bitney Springs Charter High School is an electronics technician at the training center located in San Diego.
“I get to teach the stuff I had to figure out the hard way by going on deployment,” said Gardner. “Now I get to prepare other people for deployment and make sure they have a baseline knowledge of what they are going to do. I try to make sure they can avoid the problems I had.”
As an electronics technician, Gardner works with communications, navigation and radar equipment.
According to Gardner, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Grass Valley.
“My hometown is pretty small and one of the cool things about a small town is that people actually talk to each other,” said Gardner. “If you hold a door for someone at the gas station you can talk to them about the weather and how their morning is going. When you are dealing with multibillion-dollar war equipment it is easy to lose the humanity of it, coming from a small town I try not to lose that humanity.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.
CSCS is a global organization of professional military and civilian educators and support personnel focused on training the Surface Navy to fight and win. CSCS trains over 36,000 U.S. and allied sailors a year to operate, maintain and employ weapons, sensors, communications, combat systems and deck equipment of surface warships to build Combat Ready Ships with Battle Minded Crews.
CSCS provides more than 538 courses, awards 114 different Navy Enlisted Classifications (NECs), and trains more 38,000 sailors a year. The command’s mission is to develop and deliver combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority.
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According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Gardner is most proud of earning his sexual assault victim advocate certification.
“I had to do a lot of training and a little bit of background investigation,” said Gardner. “That is one of the biggest issues in the world and I get to be a small part of fixing the problem.”
For Gardner, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one Gardner hopes to continue.
“My uncle was in the Army,” said Gardner. “Joining the Navy was me following the character he grew into.”
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Gardner, 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 defending family, the things I care about and the rights for everybody,” said Gardner.