Throughout the month of May, in honor of Military Appreciation Month, we’ve been celebrating the U.S. Armed Forces and the incredible role they’ve played in the history and development of our country. As we wrap up the month, we highlight former Navy Electronics Technician Shannon Ramey, Emergency Preparedness Specialist at Vogtle 3&4, about her time in the military.
When and why did you join the military?
I joined the U.S. Navy in February 1999 and served on active duty until October 2007. I joined for a couple of reasons. The first was to serve my country the same way my sister, father and grandfathers have done. I also love adventure, and the military certainly provides that with frequent moves and reassignments. I also wanted to gain job skills and experience that I could use in the civilian world.
What is your role in the military?
In the Navy, I was a nuclear-trained Electronics Technician (Nuke ET). I was stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan. As a Nuke ET, I performed maintenance on electronic equipment for the nuclear plant. I also performed maintenance on the plant’s air particulate detectors. I qualified for several positions, including Instrument Watch and Throttleman, which controlled the ship's speed. I was also a Reactor Operator/Shutdown Reactor Operator. After 6 1/2 years on the ship, I transitioned to a Navy Recruiter in Portsmouth, Ohio, where I finished my last 2 1/2 years and left military service.
Have you been deployed recently? What did your deployment involve?
My time on the USS Ronald Reagan was a lot of fun. I was part of the initial manning of the ship while it was in the shipyards under construction, making me a Plankowner. Reactor Department worked in rotating shifts to perform cold and hot functional testing while the rest of the ship was built around us. Once the ship was christened, we completed sea trails and took it around the tip of South America through the Straits of Magellan to its homeport at the time, San Diego, California. We stopped in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Valparaíso, Chile and Callao, Peru on the way. Visiting foreign ports is the best part of deployments. Great memories were made.
Is there anything you wish others knew about serving in the military?
All my duty stations were miles away from my family. You couldn't always go home for holidays or birthdays, so your shipmates became your family. You would spend hours with each other on watch and talk about anything and everything to stay awake through the night. You picked on each other like siblings. If someone outside of your department picked on you, they would come to your defense. I wish that others could experience the bonds made between service members. Even when you are out and meet someone for the first time, there is still a connection when you find out they are a veteran.
How has your military service influenced your work at Southern Nuclear?
Being in the military cultivates taking responsibility for self and actions. You learn discipline and dependability. You set the example for those around you and understand and accomplish assigned tasks. You become able to meet a variety of challenges. These attributes have influenced my work for Southern Nuclear and made me a better person and employee.
What does Military Appreciation Month mean to you?
I think it's essential that we honor and show our appreciation for our military past and present. Defending the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted doesn't come without sacrifice. Families of service members, such as parents, spouses and children, also make sacrifices and fill voids while the member fulfills their duties. Military Appreciation Month is an opportunity to show patriotism and support, a chance for our country to unite.