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Decatur Native Serves Aboard U.S. Navy Flagship In Japan

Petty Officer 2nd Class William Wemhoff, a native of Decatur, Indiana, serves in Japan aboard the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge.

Wemhoff graduated from Bellmont High School in 2021.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Decatur.

Photo of William Wemhoff by Mass Comm. Spec. 1st Class Bryan Niegel.

“I worked throughout high school and learned a lot of electronic skills,” said Wemhoff. “In high school, I was also a part of the electricians club, and these skills have made me so successful early in my career.”

Wemhoff joined the Navy three years ago. Today, Wemhoff serves as an interior communications electrician.

“I joined the Navy to follow in my family’s footsteps,” said Wemhoff. “Several family members served and gave back to this great country, so I felt it was my turn.”

Blue Ridge is the oldest operational ship in the Navy and, as the 7th Fleet command ship, supports an admiral’s staff that actively works to foster relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

U.S. 7th Fleet provides security alongside allies and partners throughout a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircrafts with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.

Wemhoff serves in Japan as part of the forward-deployed naval forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.

“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Adm. Lisa Franchetti, chief of naval operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”

Wemhoff has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“I am most proud to say that I have had the opportunity and achieved the rank of second class so early in my career,” said Wemhoff. “I’m now able to help my junior sailors and take my knowledge and help them succeed.”

Wemhoff can take pride in serving America through military service.

“Serving in the Navy means being the person people rely on to take charge, stand out and protect them in times of need,” said Wemhoff. “We sailors protect the world through strength and make sure people back home can sleep safely at night.”

Wemhoff is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank my parents for always being there for me and making me the man I am today,” added Wemhoff. “I would also like to thank my fiancé, Briena, for being my ‘rock’ and making this job that much more meaningful.”

Article written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Hanchar, Navy Office of Community Outreach

The Waynedale News Staff

Andrew Hanchar

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