A 2007 Coral Reef Senior High School graduate and Miami native is one of more than 1,000 sailors who recently returned to Naval Station Mayport after a six-month deployment to the Middle East and Mediterranean areas of operation.
Petty Officer Second Class Ryan Kraich is a Navy operations specialist aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport dock ship, which takes Marines to the locations they need to support U.S. interests around the world.
A Navy operations specialist is responsible for providing the command with technical information and assistance related to warfare and search and rescue operations.
“I like that I get information first before other people receive it,” Kraich said. “We’re at the forefront of receiving information of the ship”
Kraich credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Miami.
“I learned there’s no substitue for hard work,” Kraich said. “Hard work always pays off. Nothing is given in life; it’s always earned.”
The New York is a memorial to horrific tragedy and spectacular heroism from the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. More than seven tons of reclaimed steel from the World Trade Center was integrated into the ship’s bow structure. From the ship’s commissioning on Nov. 7, 2009 to this day, the New York stays true to their motto, “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never forget.”
Along with Empire State sailors, Marines were embarked from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). As part of the Amphibious Ready Group, these forces provided maritime security and crisis response, bringing a U.S. naval presence to Europe and the Middle East.
The New York made a seven-day stop in Piraeus, Greece, where more sailors and Marines enjoyed the opportunity to meet with their hosts as both nations are committed to promoting peace and stability in the region, according to Navy officials.
“Aboard New York, we are proud of what we accomplished on our recent deployment,” said Capt. Brent DeVore, commanding officer aboard New York. “We made important contributions to maritime security throughout the Mediterranean, and strengthened our relationships and partnerships throughout the area. Our Sailors and Marines provided a ready team to execute the full range of amphibious missions wherever, and whenever, we were needed.”
Though there are many ways for Sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Kraich is most proud of earning the Enlisted Service Warfare Specialist pin.
“It proved to myself that when I put my mind to it I can accomplish things that I didn’t think I would be able to,” Kraich said. “It showed me that if I sit down and study I can accomplish anything that’s put in front of me.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Kraich and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy provides a sense of financial security and my first real feeling of being in a career,” Kraich said.