Chief Petty Officer Monty Davilla, a native of Seminole, Oklahoma, joined the Navy to follow his grandfathers footsteps as a sailor and travel the world.

Now, 13 years after joining the Navy, Davilla serves with the “World Watchers” of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1, working with the Navy’s premier intelligence-gathering aircraft at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington.

“This is an outstanding command,” said Davilla. "Sometimes we work long hours but in the end we all have each other's backs and it is worth it."

Davilla, a 2006 graduate of Seminole High School, is a naval aircrewman with VQ-1, a state-of-the-art intelligence-gathering squadron flying the EP-3 “Aires,” a variant of the venerable P-3C “Orion.”

Davilla is also a 2015 graduate of Columbia College with a degree in arts.

“I’m responsible for the personal and professional development of sailors and human resources,” said Davilla.

Davilla credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Seminole.

“My first job was at McDonald's in my hometown where I learned that hard work and time management pays off,” said Davilla. "It helps with serving by having that work ethic."

Members of VQ-1 conduct reconnaissance as well as intelligence-gathering missions. They deploy around the world to monitor the world’s oceans wherever they are needed.

The EP-3 “Aires” is a land-based, long-range, signals intelligence-gathering aircraft. It is a variant of the P-3C “Orion,” which has been in operation since the 1960s. They are still in service and performing missions all over the world.

Serving in the Navy means Davilla is part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Davilla is most proud of promotion to chief petty officer.

“It took 13 years of hard work and taking care of sailors,” said Davilla.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Davilla and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing to the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means everything to me,” said Davilla. "It allows me to protect my family and our country's way of life."