NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A Navy career can take many different turns, but nearly all of them present unique opportunities to explore work ethic, personal growth, and leadership.
For Chief Cryptologic Technician (Technical) (SW/AW/FMF) Dayton Swann, Operations department's space maintenance leading chief petty officer (LCPO), the Navy has proven to be about personal and professional growth.
Swann graduated high school in 1994 in Jacksonville, Fla., and joined the Navy that same year. "Coming from a family with a history in the Navy and the Marine Corps, joining seemed like the thing to do when college wasn't in my plans for the immediate future," said Swann.
At the Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Corry Station in Pensacola, Fla., Swann completed Electronic Warfare Technician (EW) 'A' and 'C' schools, and was promoted to petty officer third class shortly after graduation.
Swann checked into his first command, USS New Orleans (LPH 11), as a maintenance technician on Christmas Eve of 1995. He then went on to serve aboard the Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), where Swann was promoted again to petty officer second class. There, he became the work center supervisor for the shipboard countermeasure equipment shop.
"Through those first few years, there were definitely times that I wasn't sure I was cut out for the Navy," said Swann. "But, when I started to realize that not everything works according to my schedule and that it's much easier to do things asked of me right away, rather than argue, things started to fall into place."
Swann continued with his Navy career and served aboard the PCU Lassen (DDG 82) and at the Fleet Information Warfare Detachment in San Diego. Later, with his team embarked aboard USS Essex (LHD-2) as part of the Command Amphibious Squadron 11 staff, Swann served as an information warfare watch officer while training shipboard personnel in watchstanding procedures.
Swann deployed to Iraq twice; once as a part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Pendleton, Calif., and once again with the Army's 1st Armored Division's 1/37 Armor Battalion.
In May 2007, Swann took over as course manager for the Global Command and Control System-Maritime Maintenance course and the Journeyman Communications Course at the Center for Information Dominance learning site in San Diego.
A year later, Swann received transfer orders to USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). With his diverse career path and opportunities, Swann reported aboard the 'Gold Eagle' as a successful and seasoned chief petty officer.
Recently, Swann received some good news about his promotion status. He was selected for the chief warrant officer program and will be commissioned in San Diego in April. Afterward, Swann has volunteered for another tour overseas, this time in Afghanistan, which will be his third tour of duty in support of the war on terrorism.
"All of my Navy experiences have taught me how to handle adverse situations while also teaching me my place in leadership," said Swann. "I've learned personal responsibility and the value of job accomplishment and mission completion, all from the Navy."
After the Navy, Swann said he would possibly like to find work as a financial planner or as a high scool history teacher.
"It's important to keep life in perspective that you should enjoy things outside of work so you don't get caught up in the run-of-the-mill work on the ship all the time," said Swann. "Don't sell the Navy short. See what it has to offer, and you just might find that your career becomes what you make of it."
For more news from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.