12cYOKOSUKA, Japan — Petty Officer 1st Class Alexander Cannon, a native of Fayetteville, serves in Japan aboard a forward-deployed U.S. Navy warship. Cannon joined the Navy 12 years ago. Today, Cannon serves as an information systems technician aboard USS Ralph Johnson.

“I joined the Navy mainly for my family,” said Cannon. “Both of my parents are prior service members, my sister and my two cousins are currently serving and I wanted to follow in their footsteps.”

Growing up in Fayetteville, Cannon attended Seventy-First High School and graduated in 2010. Today, Cannon relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Fayetteville to succeed in the military.

“One of the lessons I learned from my hometown was to set goals and stick to them,” said Cannon. “I also learned to treat the Navy like a career and not to look back.”

Modern U.S. Navy surface ships provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.

A Navy surface ship is capable of operating independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups or expeditionary strike groups. Jobs aboard a U.S. Navy ship are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.

As a member of the Navy, Cannon is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

Cannon 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.

“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence,” said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. “Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend — across all domains — any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being.”

Cannon and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“I am most proud of my accomplishments at my last command,” said Cannon. “I witnessed all my junior sailors get promoted to second and first class petty officers.”

As Cannon 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 I have a family, when I’m away from my family,” said Cannon.

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

“I want to thank my parents,” added Cannon. “They have given me the tools to be successful in the Navy.”

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