KINGS BAY, Georgia — A Raeford native and 2012 Hoke County High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of a crew working aboard the USS Georgia.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Ly’Jour Oglesby, a machinist’s mate, serves aboard the Kings Bay-based boat, one of two guided-missile submarines.
As a machinist’s mate, Oglesby is responsible for the things that are essential on the boat, such as machinery, plumbing, and producing breathable air.
“The people that I work with are very down-to-earth and this work environment has a way of bringing people close together,” Oglesby said.
The Navy’s Ohio-class guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Armed with tactical missiles and equipped with superior communications capabilities, these submarines are capable of directly supporting Combatant Commander’s strike and Special Operation Forces requirements. The Ohio-class design allows the submarines to operate for 15 or more years between major overhauls.
According to Navy officials, submarine sailors are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. The training is highly technical and each crew has to be able to operate, maintain, and repair every system or piece of equipment on board. Regardless of their specialty, everyone also has to learn how everything on the ship works and how to respond in emergencies to become “qualified in submarines” and earn the right to wear the coveted gold or silver dolphins on their uniform.
“We demand the highest standards from our sailors — both professionally and personally,” said Rear Adm. Randy Crites, commander, Submarine Group 10 in Kings Bay. “Their chain of command, family and our great nation take immense pride in their devotion and service. These sailors are absolutely crucial to ensuring our ships and submarines are operating at their best — always mission ready, providing our nation with the greatest Navy the world has ever known. I’m so very proud these sailors are on our team.”
Oglesby said submarine life takes a special kind of person to work on a boat that is designed to go underwater.
“I love having the experience to travel the world in this type of environment, that no one else has a chance to do,” Oglesby said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Oglesby and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes.
“The Navy has taught me to value life more,” Oglesby said. “I feel like I’ve grown and matured faster than I would have without serving in the Navy.”
Petty Officer First Class Heidi McCormick is with the Navy Office of Community Outreach