Petty Officer 2nd Class Haley Wilkinson, a native of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, serves the U.S. Navy aboard USS Portland, a U.S. Navy San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship.

Wilkinson joined the Navy two years ago for the opportunities serving provides.

“I wanted to get free education,” said Wilkinson. “Also, for the experience to travel.”

Today, Wilkinson serves as a personnel specialist.

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“Being a personnel specialist is basically human resources,” said Wilkinson. “I deal with all pay and personnel records for members onboard.”

Growing up in Mifflin County, Wilkinson attended Mifflin County High School and graduated in 2017. Today, Wilkinson uses the same skills and values learned in Mifflin County to succeed in the military.

“Being involved with sports has taught me teamwork and leadership,” said Wilkinson. “There is no ‘I’ in the military. It is all about teamwork and leading a workspace to complete the mission.”

USS Portland is named after the U.S. city of Portland, Oregon. The ship is designed to transport Marines and their equipment.

According to Navy officials, amphibious transport dock ships are warships that embark, transport and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.

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Serving in the Navy means Wilkinson is part of a team 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.

While there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Wilkinson is most proud of two accomplishments.

“I am proud of graduating as an Honor Recruit from Boot Camp and getting meritoriously promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class,” said Wilkinson.

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Wilkinson, 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 takes a special person,” added Wilkinson. “It definitely is not for everyone, but those brave enough to answer the call. It made me a better person and I am proud to serve this country.”

Thanks for serving, Haley!

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