Submariners make up only 10 percent of the U.S. Navy’s personnel, but they play a critical role in carrying out one of the Defense Department’s most important missions: strategic deterrence. Lt. j.g. Travis Jacklin, a native of Royal Palm Beach, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea to help ensure Americans’ safety.
Jacklin joined the Navy four years ago and today serves aboard USS Alaska.
“I joined the Navy because it seemed like the hardest route,” Jacklin said. “It seemed like a challenge I wanted to take on, and I got paid for it a little more than an entry-level engineering job.”
Growing up in Royal Palm Beach, Jacklin attended Royal Palm Beach High School and graduated in 2015.
“There is a good mix of people from all walks of life and different backgrounds in Royal Palm Beach,” Jacklin said. “That upbringing allowed me to empathize with people in the Navy from different backgrounds, especially because the Navy is so diverse.”
The Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world.
“Our mission remains timeless — to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Admiral Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”
Serving in the Navy means Jacklin is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our primary mission in the submarine community is strategic deterrence,” Jacklin said. “We keep adversaries from taking actions against our country because we have a forward presence, and they know we are out there.”
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.
Jacklin and other sailors have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My proudest Navy accomplishments are servicing the boat for the first time, manning the bridge and driving the sub,” Jacklin said.
As Jacklin 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 I am doing something bigger than myself,” Jacklin said.
He is grateful to others for helping make his Navy career possible.
“I would like to thank my fiancé, Alex, because she has followed me around and kept the house together while I am gone,” Jacklin said. “She does everything and is a superhero.”