Commerce native Morgan Black is a boatswain's mate aboard a U.S. Navy ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

SASEBO, Japan – A Commerce, Oklahoma, native and 2016 Commerce High School graduate is serving in Japan in the U.S. Navy aboard USS Germantown.

Seaman Morgan Black is a boatswain's mate aboard the ship operating out of Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy boatswain's mate is responsible for maintaining the exterior surfaces of the ships, deck handling and equipment, handling cargo and operating small boats.

Black is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Commerce.

“Growing up in Commerce, I was taught you should always be humble," said Black. "Hard work achieves a lot no matter where you are from.”

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world's shipping tonnage and a third of the world's crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy's presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

Commissioned in 1986, Germantown is the second Navy ship named after the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown. With a crew of more than 900 sailors and Marines, Germantown is 609 feet long and weighs approximately 16,000 tons. Designed specifically to operate landing craft air cushion small craft vessels, Whidbey Island-class dock landing ships have the largest capacity for these landing craft out of any U.S. Navy amphibious ship.

“It's an honor and an experience to be forward deployed. It’s something most people don't get the opportunity to do,” said Black. “The Navy has helped me build a lot of tolerance and patience.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Black 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 means providing opportunities for not only myself but for others,” said Black.

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet's area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.

Theodore Quintana is Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class, Navy Office of Community Outreach.