Townsquare Media and Integrity Builders are teaming up to salute our local heroes with our Warrior of the Week program.

Congratulations to Freehold's Jake Savarino, our Warrior of the Week for the week of February 17th, 2020.


By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – As a member of the oldest Maritime Strike Squadron helicopter squadron, Airman Jake Savarino is a part of a Naval legacy. Savarino is an aviation electronics technician who is responsible for working on the sonars and antennas of the aircraft and communications. He is currently serving at Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, which supports the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

“My favorite part about my job is that not a lot of people from my hometown join the Navy,” said Savarino. “There is a lot of diversity in the tasks I do and the people I work with.”Savarino is a 2016 Freehold Borough High School graduate and native of Freehold, New Jersey.

According to Savarino, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Freehold.

“Freehold taught me you only lose when you give up,” said Savarino.With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

Sailors assigned to HSM-71 are a part of history, flying with “Romeo” helicopters, the newest and most advanced in the fleet. Helicopters are equipped with the ability to conduct replenishments at sea, search and rescue missions and support operations.

The members of HSM-71 achieve excellence in military performance and create an example for other squadrons to follow through operational readiness, innovation and weapon development.

HSM-71 sailors play a critical role in supporting the Navy’s aircraft carriers. Aircraft carriers and carrier strike groups remain the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy, supporting and protecting America’s national interests around the world. Carrier strike groups operate across the entire spectrum of military operations, according to Navy officials.

According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the Chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.

“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Savarino is most proud of being in the Navy, getting out of his hometown and getting his aviation warfare device.

“I am serving my country,” said Savarino. “I think that’s the greatest honor you can do and I am doing it well.”

For Savarino, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one Savarino hopes to continue.

“My dad was in the Army, my grandfather was in the Navy and my uncle was in the Army as well,” said Savarino. “It is the greatest honor to serve your country and I hope if I have kids they can at least think about serving to give back to their country.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Savarino, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy means making the United States a better place for future generations,” said Savarino. “As long as people are fighting and serving the country it will remain an amazing country.”

Congratulations to Jake Savarino, our Warrior of the Week.

Do you know a deserving past or present military member? Nominate them now. Every Military Monday, we’ll share one of the nominations and honor that person as our Warrior of the Week.

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