YOKOSUKA, Japan - Seaman Ren Gleason, a native of Pierce, Nebraska, serves in Japan aboard a forward-deployed U.S. Navy warship.

Gleason joined the Navy one year ago. Today, Gleason serves as an intelligence specialist aboard USS Shoup.

“I joined the Navy because my dad was in the Navy and I felt the calling,” said Gleason. "I always wanted to serve my country and this is a great opportunity."

Growing up in Pierce, Gleason attended Pierce Public High School and graduated in 2022.

Today, Gleason relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Pierce to succeed in the military.

“A lesson I learned from my hometown was to be true to who you are and what you know,” said Gleason.

Modern U.S. Navy surface ships provide a wide range of warfighting capabilities in multi-threat air, surface and subsurface environments.

A Navy surface ship is capable of operating independently or as part of carrier strike groups, surface action groups or expeditionary strike groups.

Jobs aboard a U.S. Navy ship are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times.

As a member of the Navy, Gleason 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 is important to national defense because our influence goes where our Navy goes,” said Gleason.

Gleason serves in Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces. These naval forces operate with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Service members in this region are part of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, which has the largest area of responsibility in the world.

“As the largest force in our nation’s front line against revisionist actors, U.S. Pacific Fleet meets this great responsibility with strength, resolve and confidence," said Adm. Samuel Paparo, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander. "Together with our joint and combined partner operations, we are positioned to defend - across all domains - any attempts to threaten our nation, our allies and partner’s security, freedom and well-being."

Gleason and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“The proudest accomplishment is finishing training school with flying colors and getting the job that I wanted,” said Gleason.

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

“To me serving in the Navy means we are all here for a bigger purpose than ourselves,” said Gleason.

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

“I want to thank my parents,” added Gleason. "They gave me the tools to be successful in the Navy."