Petty Officer 1st Class Delroy Rhymer Jr., a sailor from Christiansted, St. Croix, serves in Japan aboard a forward-deployed U.S. Navy warship. Rhymer joined the Navy 10 years ago. Today, Rhymer serves as an operations specialist aboard USS Robert Smalls.
“I did not make plans to go college,” said Rhymer. “I wanted to join the Navy because my sister-in-law was in the Navy and she had put me in touch with a local recruiter. I was ready to start my own life.”
Growing up in Christiansted, Rhymer attended Saint Croix Educational Complex High School and graduated in 2013.
Today, Rhymer relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Christiansted to succeed in the military.
“I learned in Christiansted to be considerate and respect for others,” said Rhymer Jr. “I also learned to treat everyone with respect and treat others the way you want to be treated.”
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, Rhymer 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.
“The U.S. Navy protects the ones we love and our allies,” said Rhymer. “We want to have a presence in the world and make sure there is fairness and freedom of the sea.”
Rhymer 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.”
Rhymer and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest moment so far was earning the rank of petty officer first class,” said Rhymer. “It was a lot of hard work and I was so happy that I made the next rank. I appreciate all the people I have met and mentored me.”
As Rhymer 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 makes me feel like I am giving back to my community,” said Rhymer. “I am able to be part of this amazing team and stabilize this area and protect our nation’s interest.”
Rhymer Jr. is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I want to thank my mom, sister Chanelle and my wife,” added Rhymer. “My single mom raised me on her own and she did a great job. I truly appreciate her.”