By Stephanie Fox
Navy Office of Community Outreach

Ensign Stephen Replogle, a native of Columbia, joined the Navy two years ago. Today, Replogle serves aboard USS Tripoli.

“I grew up in a military family,” said Replogle. “That made me want to join the Navy. I was also seeking the thrill of adventure and trying something new, which the Navy definitely offers.”

Growing up in Columbia, Replogle attended Sumter Area Family Educators and graduated in 2012. Today, Replogle uses the same skills and values learned in Columbia to succeed in the military.

“Growing up, I was taught to be respectful to everyone,” said Replogle. “That’s helped me as a sailor because if you treat everyone with dignity and respect, then you will be treated the same.”

These lessons have helped Replogle while serving in the Navy.

USS Tripoli incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. The design features an enlarged hangar deck, aviation maintenance facilities realignment and expansion, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

“The sailors aboard this ship have been given an enormous task–get this ship ready,” said Capt. John Kiefaber, USS Tripoli’s executive officer. “They brought this ship to life in the midst of a pandemic and continue to operate it safely and effectively, rising to every occasion. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Serving in the Navy means Replogle 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.

“The Navy contributes to national security with our sustained forward presence,” said Replogle.

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.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

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

“My proudest naval accomplishment is being a part of the crew that commissioned the USS Tripoli,” said Replogle.

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

“To me, serving in the Navy means service to the country,” added Replogle. “It also means improvement of oneself and a challenging and rewarding work environment.”

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