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Trevor Heinert

Cmdr. Trevor Heinert, a Billings resident and Libby native, serves with the Submarine Pacific Undersea Warfare Operations Portland.

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – As Americans reflect on the service of military men and women this Veterans Day, some may not realize that they are fellow residents with those who serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Cmdr. Trevor Heinert, a of Billings, Montana, supports and defends freedom around the world, as a Navy submarine warfare officer, who is responsible for ensuring the naval reserve unit consists of staff that are highly trained, professional experts who are all physically and mentally ready to answer the call for action when the nation needs them.

Heinert is a 1996 Libby Senior High School graduate and native of Libby who earned a degree from Montana Tech majoring in engineering

Reservists seamlessly support and actively aid military missions while continuing to lead their own independent lives in the civilian world.

“The Navy Reserve is a 100K strong team of sailors embedded across the fabric of society, loyal and dedicated patriots, serving both in uniform and civilian jobs, ready to defend the homeland and deploy across the world in a moment's notice,” said Vice Adm. Luke McCollum, Chief of Navy Reserve.

The Navy Reserve provides strategic depth to America’s Navy as it protects the American homeland and advances economic prosperity by preserving freedom of the seas.

"Without the strength and continued team support from my spouse, then balancing these two demanding roles would never be possible," Heinert said. "My successes over the past 11 years would not be possible without her significant sacrifice and continued willingness to manage the home front in my absence."

Heinert serves with Submarine Pacific Undersea Warfare Operations Portland where the unit consists of a highly diverse group of Navy sailors who are trained to urgently staff watch floors in order to manage naval assets throughout the Pacific.

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He is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the Nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Heinert is most proud of earning the Submarine Warfare Pin, also known as Dolphins.

"Being qualified as a submariner requires years of dedication, education and hard work in order to be a qualified member of this elite community, " said Heinert.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Heinert and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

"Serving in the Navy has allowed me to experience many different cultures, lead highly performing and diverse work groups and see parts of the world that I never dreamt having grown up in Montana," added Heinert. "Military service truly has made me realize just how fortunate we are to have the freedoms we continue to enjoy every day that are not often found in many other parts of the world."

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Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana serves in Millington, Tenn., with the Navy Office of Community Outreach.

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Opinion Editor

Opinion editor for The Billings Gazette.