PEARL HARBOR –A Snellville, Georgia, native and 2006 Tucker High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy at United States Pacific Command.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Mullen, a mass communication specialist, is serving at Camp H. M. Smith in the area of operations where U.S. Pacific Fleet Headquarters is located.
According to Navy officials, the U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world's largest fleet command, encompassing 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth's surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
As a mass communication specialist, Mullen is responsible for sharing the Navy's story through print media and photography.
"Growing up I learned how to work hard," said Mullen. "If you want to be the best, you always want to work as hard as you can."
Being stationed near Pearl Harbor often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means that Mullen is serving in a part of the world that is taking on new importance in America's national defense strategy.
The Navy has been pivotal in helping maintain peace and stability in the Pacific region for decades, according to Navy officials. The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.
The Navy has plans, by 2020, to base approximately 60 percent of its ships and aircraft in the region. Officials say the Navy will also provide its most advanced warfighting platforms to the region, including missile defense-capable ships; submarines; reconnaissance aircraft; and its newest surface warfare ships, including all of the Navy's new stealth destroyers.
Mullen has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.
"My dad was in the Army," said Mullen. "I never really looked at the Navy as a career, but as a stepping stone. I figured it would make me a better person and help me set up my future."
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Mullen and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
"Serving in the Navy means a sense of honor and pride," added Mullen.