A native of Garner, Iowa, serves the U.S. Navy aboard USS Boxer, which is homeported in San Diego.
Lt. Cmdr. Charity Edgar, a 2004 Garner-Hayfield High School graduate, joined the Navy 11 years ago.
“I was inspired to join the Navy because of my family’s history of service,” said Edgar.
Today, Edgar serves as a public affairs officer and is responsible for sharing stories of the ship and crew with the nation.
Edgar relies upon skills and values from lessons learned in Garner to succeed in the military.
“I learned in Garner the importance of having a strong work ethic and being the hardest worker in the room,” said Edgar.
Boxer, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, commissioned Feb. 11, 1995, and is the sixth U.S. ship to bear the name. The ship recently completed a scheduled maintenance availability and is preparing for upcoming operations.
Boxer’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 officers and enlisted personnel and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies and can support helicopters or other aircraft, according to Navy officials. They also are capable of accessing 75 percent of the world’s beaches.
Serving in the Navy means Edgar is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy contributes to our national defense because freedom and open access to the world’s oceans is critical,” said Edgar. “Especially when so much trade is conducted in waterways throughout the globe.”
More than 90 percent of all trade travels by sea, and fiber optic cables on the ocean floor carry 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic.
Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to ready sailors and a strong Navy.
“Maintaining the world’s best Navy is an investment in the security and prosperity of the United States, as well as the stability of our world,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “The U.S. Navy – forward deployed and integrated with all elements of national power – deters conflict, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and guarantees free and open access to the world’s oceans. As the United States responds to the security environment through integrated deterrence, our Navy must continue to deploy forward and campaign with a ready, capable, combat-credible fleet.”
“The Surface Force will continue to meet the challenge of strategic competition and respond to the realities of the modern security environment,” said Commander of Naval Surface Forces Vice Adm. Roy Kitchener. “Our efforts are critical to preserve freedom of the seas, deter aggression and win wars.”
Sailors like Edgar have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I’m most proud of being part of the historic 2020-2021 Nimitz Carrier Strike Group deployment,” said Edgar.
As Edgar 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 being a part of something bigger than myself and having the opportunity to serve alongside some of the best and brightest young men and women across the country,” added Edgar.