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Stevenson High School Junior earns the highest rank attainable in national program as a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Tomcat Squadron
Stevenson High School Junior earns the highest rank attainable in national program as a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps (USNSCC) Tomcat Squadron
Posted on 01/20/2022
Ryan Parker in uniformRyan Parker can trace his passion for service to the movie Top Gun. 

At an early age, the movie inspired Ryan to set his sights on serving his country in the U.S. Navy and join the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps program at the young age of ten.

And – like the movie’s trademark line of “need for speed” – he accelerated his commitment by earning the highest level of achievement within the entire USNSCC program with the elite rank of USNSCC Chief Petty Officer, as a 16 year old.

“I always wanted to serve my country,” the Stevenson High School junior said.  "That’s the best thing you can do.  I was inspired at a young age and that commitment has not left me yet.”

The U.S.  Naval Sea Cadet Corps is a maritime based youth program sponsored by the U.S. Navy and supported by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Parker, who trains with the Tomcat Squadron out of Selfridge Air Force Base, said the program “teaches you what life in the Navy is like” and focuses on essential skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork.

“There is a huge commitment, but it is not about just being part of a program - it becomes a huge family,” he said. "Everyone cares for you and you are always by that person’s side.” 

Parker’s passion for service took another step when he joined a select group of U.S. students to become a Chief Petty Officer for his program.

Parker was selected into an elite Chief Petty Officer Academy in Jacksonville, FL where he spent his Christmas break from school.  He was taught leadership techniques, how to effectively teach and mentor others in an enriching and morale boosting way. At home, this program works on integrity, ethics, being part of a team and overall going above and beyond to help others. This program focuses on building students' leadership and academic abilities that can carry into sports, college or whatever the student chooses to do in their lives.
Parker is enrolled in Stevenson’s Center for Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering (MADE). Like the Sea Cadet program, Parker is viewed as a leader in the specialty program. 

“He has always put the needs of others first,” said MADE social studies teacher Justin Newcomb, who also coached Parker as a member of the Titans Varsity football team. “Ryan exemplifies the qualifications, strong character, and great work ethic necessary to lead his classmates and his community. His positive attitude, desire, and attention to detail make Ryan a tremendous leader.”

While still a junior, Parker is looking forward to graduation when his service will accelerate his position when he enlists in the Navy. He also said his experiences at Stevenson MADE will provide him hands-on experiences that he can use as a Navy diver.

“I know that with MADE I am part of a program here that is not available anywhere else,” he said. “I am thankful I have had the opportunity to be part of this program.”