ABOVE: Seaman Recruit Kierra Johnson (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Samuel Wagner)
Seaman Recruit Kierra Johnson, a native of Houston, Texas, serves the U.S. Navy aboard one of the world’s largest warships, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).
Johnson joined the Navy one year ago.
“I want to go to college with no debt,” said Johnson. “I want to go to law school and serve as a criminal defense lawyer. The Navy will allow me to do that.”
Growing up in Houston, Johnson attended Westfield High School and graduated in 2021. Today, Johnson relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Houston to succeed in the military.
“It’s important to talk to others and make friends,” said Johnson. “Growing up in Houston built character for me.”
These lessons have helped Johnson while serving in the Navy.
Johnson’s service aboard Bush follows the example of the ship’s namesake, the nation’s 41st President, George H.W. Bush. Bush is the only U.S. president to serve as a U.S. Navy aviator. During World War II he flew the TBF Avenger in Torpedo Squadron (VT) 51 and was stationed aboard USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for a daring bombing run over the island of Chichi Jima.
The ship bearing Bush’s name is preparing for deployment amid ongoing strategic competition between the U.S. and its adversaries. In doing so, the ship and its Sailors continue the legacy of service to the nation that U.S. Navy aircraft carriers have provided for 100 years.
Bush was commissioned in 2009 and is completing a pre-deployment work up cycle.
“Our Sailors’ hard work to return George Herbert Walker Bush to the operational fleet in 2021 was exemplary,” said Capt. Robert Aguilar, GHWB commanding officer. “They represent the best principles of service to the mission and the nation that our namesake, President George H.W. Bush, embodied.”
Since USS Langley’s (CV 1) commissioning 100 years ago this March 20th, aircraft carriers and their ability to project American power around the globe have been a consistent tool in maintaining and improving U.S. national security interest and the prosperity of the American people.
Sailors aboard USS George H.W. Bush, like Johnson, continue to burnish the legacy of the aircraft carrier fleet and naval aviation by providing the national command authority a flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of a carrier strike group that maintains maritime stability and security in order to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.
Serving in the Navy means Johnson is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy is important because we have to defend our country,” said Johnson.
Johnson and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I’m proud to serve aboard this ship,” said Johnson. “I never imagined joining the military, but now that I’m here, I see a lot of doors opening up to me.”
As Johnson and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“I’m willing to fight for my country, and I’m willing to fight for everyone in this country,” added Johnson. “I’m thankful to serve.”
With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.