A Sylvania native serving in the U.S. Navy as a chief petty officer assigned to Destroyer Squadron 7 met the U.S. Secretary of Defense in Singapore earlier this month.
Chief Electrician’s Mate Recardo Wright graduated from Screven County High School and enlisted in the Navy in 2002.
“I joined the Navy to serve our great nation and to reap the wonderful opportunities the military has to offer such as learning new skills and training, paid college, traveling the world, and leadership opportunities,” Wright said.
Wright currently serves as the squadron’s Engineering Department leading chief petty officer and is responsible for all deployed combat ships maintenance and critical repairs in the Indo-Pacific.
Wright met Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III during his visit to Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73 at the Sembawang Naval Installation following his remarks at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
Austin was born in Mobile, Alabama, and raised in Thomasville, Georgia.
“As my leadership was introducing me to Secretary Austin, I could see his expression light up hearing about another leader from a little town in Georgia,” said Wright. “When I told him I was from Sylvania, he asked how I joined the Navy being so far from the ocean – we had a good laugh at that.”
Austin awarded coins to selected service members and civilians, including Wright.
“It was a humbling experience to meet and shake hands with the secretary of defense, a Georgia native like myself. He has set the bar high for others to mirror,” Wright said. “I have met so many great leaders being in the Navy and each one has different ways of leading. Because of them, I have learned to be the leader that I always wanted coming up as a junior sailor.”
As the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed destroyer squadron in Southeast Asia, Squadron 7 serves as the primary tactical and operational commander of combat ships rotationally deployed to Singapore, functions as Expeditionary Strike Group 7’s Sea Combat Commander, and builds partnerships through training exercises and military-to-military engagements.