Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Heidi Cheek. Chief Petty Officer Bradley Monell is a Navy electrician’s mate (nuclear) and the senior electrician on the island.

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Wyscaver

A 2004 Riverview High School graduate and Riverview native is serving with the U.S. Navy and is assigned to a forward-deployed submarine squadron consisting of some of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

Chief Petty Officer Bradley Monell is a Navy electrician’s mate (nuclear) and is the senior electrician on the island responsible for training and mentoring the other electrician chiefs on the island.

Monell credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons he learned in Riverview.

“I grew up in a very small town and learned the value of hard work and being a part of a tight-knit community,” Monell said.

Jobs are highly varied aboard the submarine. Approximately 130 sailors make up the submarine’s crew, doing everything from handling weapons to maintaining nuclear reactors.

Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.

“As the only forward-deployed submarine squadron, we are the quick reaction force for the Navy. We can respond quickly to any crisis,” said Capt. Tim Poe, Commodore, Submarine Squadron 15. “It’s spectacular, the work our Sailors do. We ask a lot of them and they always meet the challenge.”

According to Navy officials, because of the demanding environment aboard submarines, personnel are accepted only after rigorous testing and observation. Submariners are some of the most highly trained and skilled people in the Navy. Regardless of their specialty, everyone 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.

“I enjoy living on a tropical island and I like my job because of the responsibilities and rewarding aspects it entails,” Monell said.

According to officials at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the ships, submarines, aircraft and Navy personnel forward-deployed to Guam are part of the world’s largest fleet command and serve in a region critical to U.S. national security. The U.S. Pacific Fleet encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.

All told, there are more than 200 ships and submarines, nearly 1,200 aircraft and more than 130,000 uniformed and civilian personnel serving in the Pacific.

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Monell is most proud of earning his silver dolphins.

“It means I was accepted to be a part of the smallest and most elite community in the Navy,” Monell said.

Serving in the Navy means Monell is part of a world 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.

“I get to defend and maintain peace in international shipping lanes,” Monell said. “I get to help train service members to grow professionally through my leadership and experience.”