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Your Career

From the Sea to the Mountains

Duty in Washington

Kayaking along the still waters of the Puget Sound, the only sounds are the distant cries of sea gulls and the paddle as it pulls you across the water.

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, welcome to "The Evergreen State" of Washington. This is just one moment that hundreds of activities the state offers.

With a land mass of 71,362 square miles, Washington contains a diversity of natural beauty. With sun to rain, fog and snow, the Pacific Northwest weather can change in an instant, but has adventures no matter the weather.

"It's kind of unique area," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick McClain, who is stationed at Naval Station Kitsap. "To the east there is an extreme urban area and to the west there is an extreme rural area. So if you want to hit some trails on dirt bikes in the morning and then explore Seattle, see museums or go to a music show at night you can definitely make that happen."

In one Washington city, Seattle, carries the nickname of the "Emerald City" due to drawing visitors to its vast parks and evergreen forest surroundings. Some famous places such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Fremont Troll and historical sites are located in Seattle. The Navy's Blue Angels preform acrobatic flying maneuvers at Seattle's Seafair during the summer.

Low laying fog hangs above the water. A whoosh of air breaks near, an orca surfaces and then disappears back beneath the surface.

Many of Washington's waters, mountains and forests are protected by the state's three national parks. Less than three hours from Seattle is North Cascades National Park where Sailors can explore the dozens of glacier carved peaks reaching 9,000 feet above sea level and wide scape of ponderosa pine of the surrounding alpine forest.
Three photo collage of a ship off the coast of Washington, photo of Seattle, and ship ported in Washington.

Head southwest from Seattle towards the Cascade Mountain Range, where the highest peak in the state and active volcano, Mount Rainer, waits for you to challenge her slopes. Rising over 14,000 feet above sea-level, Mount Rainer is the glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S. that feed six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows span around the volcano and forests reach up Rainer's lower slopes - home to an abundant amount of wildlife.

Just over an hour from the Naval base in Bremerton lies Olympic National Park in Port Angeles. With nearly a million acres of wilderness, Olympic contains thousands of years of human history, and a wide array of ecosystems from glacier-capped mountains to old-growth temperate rainforests and more than70 miles of coastline.

"This is a great place to get stationed," said McClain. "There's so much diversity and there's so many things to do. Anything you could want to do, you can do it out here. I would encourage anyone to seek orders out here."

In addition to these beautiful national park there are 120 state parks hosting numerous wilderness areas, recreation areas and preserves. Washington is also a haven for watchable wildlife such as whales, dolphins and other sea mammals, migratory and native birds, and much more. It is also a good place for hiking, camping, biking and all sorts of outdoor activities, winter sports and water sports.

From the most junior Sailor to a seasoned master chief, and from an ensign fresh from the Naval Academy to the officer finishing his twilight tour, there are several choices of duty in Washington. From Naval Air Station Whidbey Island to Naval Base Everett, Naval Base Kitsap to Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Keyport Division and finally Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility.