AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Petty Officer 1st Class Gabriel Lechuga joined the US Navy 14 years ago and now serves aboard one of the world’s most advanced nuclear-powered submarines.

“I joined the Navy because I did not want to freeload from my parents,” said Lechuga. An Amarillo native, Lechuga graduated from Palo Duro High School in 2004 before entering the service.

Currently, Lechuga serves as an electronics technician navigator, whose responsibilities include ocean navigation and logic or analog circuit repairs. A necessary job, according to the Navy, to help protect worldwide trade, travel, and internet and phone service.

“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,” wrote the Navy Office of Community Outreach, “Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.”

The Navy continued to describe Lechuga’s service as meaning he joined a team “taking on new importance in the country’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.”

“My serving in the Navy means that other citizens can practice their freedoms without suppression, rebuttal or conviction,” added Lechuga.

A full description can be found here from the Navy, explaining different types of submarines and how they may be used.