Texas Border Business
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Josiah Trombley, Navy Office of Community Outreach
SAN DIEGO – Chief Petty Officer Ana Ortiz, a native of La Villa, Texas, supports versatile missions while serving at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3.
Ortiz joined the Navy 25 years ago. Today, Ortiz serves as a Navy career counselor.
“I joined the Navy to see the world,” said Ortiz. “I was born in raised in Mexico until I was ten years old, and then I came over to this country. La Villa is a small town, so I wanted to go and explore the world.”
Ortiz attended La Villa High School and graduated in 1997.
Skills and values similar to those found in La Villa are similar to those required to succeed in the military.
“My hometown taught me to have a work ethic,” said Ortiz. “I was in a band, cross country and track. The structure of being part of a team, dedication and having a strict coach instilled self-determination in us. Teamwork was huge for us, so transferring over to the Navy wasn’t hard.”
These lessons have helped Ortiz while serving with the Navy.
Members of HSC 3 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. In general, some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.
This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard aircraft. Our Nation and our Navy are stronger because of their service.
As a member of the Navy, Ortiz 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 it keeps this country safe, our families safe and our structure, by building relations with our neighboring countries and countries abroad in times of war and peace,” said Ortiz. “We also assist in catastrophic events. Anywhere around the world where something happens, we are there to assist. This country is very successful in allowing any citizen to reach their goals. There are no limitations.”
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Ortiz and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest accomplishment in the Navy is coming to this country as an illegal immigrant and being able to get my residency because of the military and become a citizen,” said Ortiz. “It is the definition of the American dream come true. I’ve gotten the opportunity to serve honorably and continue to do so. That enough is a proud Navy moment.”
As Ortiz and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy means a sense of pride and humility,” said Ortiz. “I feel humbled to wear the uniform and proud to do so. It means being an example to my children and future generations that can see that anyone can serve honorably if they do their best.”
Ortiz is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank my parents, who have always supported me to reach the rank that I have reached,” said Ortiz. Without their support of being there for me or helping my children, I wouldn’t be able to be at the commands that I’ve been able to go to. I would also like to thank my teachers, especially, Mr. Garcia, my history teacher, who introduced me to Pearl Harbor and everything about it. That triggered interest in the Navy and how it operated. When I got to go to Pearl Harbor, that was a dream come true because I was there, in uniform, in the Navy. I want to thank my children, Diego and Valentina, for their support of their mom.”
“I wanted to mention my time aboard the USS Cole,” added Ortiz. “That was where I received the first on-the-spot Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal because we assisted the Cole after the bombing when the terrorists attacked the ship during refueling. I was part of the USS Camden, and I was able to assist two females during that time.”