Son of Elizabeth City resident serves aboard one of the Navy’s most versatile combat ships

Son of Elizabeth City resident serves aboard one of the Navy’s most versatile combat ships

By Alvin Plexico, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – Petty Officer 3rd Class Jody Wright serves the U.S. Navy aboard one of the country’s most versatile combat ships, USS Montgomery, operating out of San Diego, California. Wright is the son of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, resident Angie Hall.Wright, a 2018 Garfield High School graduate, joined the Navy four years ago.

“I have other family members in the military, so growing up I had a lot of military influence that inspired me to join,” said Wright.

Skills and values learned in the Navy are similar to those found in Woodbridge.

“Growing up, I learned a lot about cooking,” said Wright. “My mom was always in the kitchen, so I always had my eye watching her and paid attention. I’m a cook now in the Navy, so it directly applies to what I do today.”

Montgomery is a fast, optimally-manned, mission-tailored surface combatant that operates in near-shore and open-ocean environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats, according to Navy officials. Littoral combat ships integrate with joint, combined, manned and unmanned teams to support forward-presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence missions around the globe.

Littoral combat ships are hybrid surface combatants that lead manned-unmanned teams using unmanned aerial systems like the Fire Scout and Expeditionary Ordnance Disposal forces unmanned underwater vehicles. They conduct forward and maritime security missions like the Secretary of Defense Oceania Maritime Security Initiative. The ships also strengthen partnerships through port visits in small island nations like Tahiti and Fiji due to their shallow-depth hull.

According to Navy officials, the path to becoming an LCS sailor is unique and challenging. The culmination of their 18-month training pipeline, sailors qualify on a virtual reality simulator that is nearly identical to the ship. This intense and realistic training pipeline allows sailors to execute their roles and responsibilities immediately upon stepping on board.

“Given the optimized manning aboard our ships, each and every LCS Sailor must be versatile, adaptable, and extremely competent in the multiple jobs they perform,” said Capt. Marc Crawford, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron ONE commodore. “Our Sailors constantly amaze me with their relentless drive and technical expertise; It is a privilege to serve beside them.”

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

As a member of the Navy, Wright is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy keeps an eye out to keep the waterways safe,” said Wright. “We protect those who may not be able to protect themselves.”

Wright has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“My proudest accomplishment was making petty officer third class in 2021,” said Wright. “This gives me the opportunity to step up to the next level as a leader. It also made my family proud.”

As Wright and other sailors continue to perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“I’m proud to serve my country protecting my family and other families,” said Wright. “It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re helping others.”

Wright is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I’d like to thank my family,” added Wright. “They’re the reason I’m here.”