LINDEN, NJ — Master Chief Petty Officer Lourdie Powell, a native of Linden, joined the Navy to travel and see the world. Now, 23 years later, Powell is part of the highly respected Senior Enlisted Academy, a leadership development program for the U.S. Navy’s active and reserve senior chief and master chief petty officers. The SEA is the Navy’s only professional military education institute for its senior enlisted force.
“I appreciate the opportunity to learn from different leaders from different parts of the Navy and from leaders who represent different backgrounds and experiences,” said Powell.
Powell credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Linden.
“I migrated to the United States from Haiti when I was 14,” said Powell. “When I moved to Linden, I met people from around the world for the first time. So growing up in Linden I learned the importance of learning from anyone, regardless of their background. That was my first American experience.”
The mission of the academy is to strengthen senior enlisted commitment to professional excellence and mission accomplishment through learning and leadership development.
Selection for the academy requires a combination of dedication and sacrifice, but Powell believes the accomplishments achieved along the way make the hard work worth it.
“The thing I’m most proud of is knowing I play a small part in someone else’s success,” said Powell. “Watching others get a promotion or earn an award warms my heart.”
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.”
With opportunities such as the SEA’s course available, Powell and other sailors continue to learn and take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.
“Serving in the Navy is an opportunity to give back to a country that’s given so much to me and my family,” added Powell.