Senior Chief Special Warfare Boat Operator Tony Palmer, a native of Huntington Beach, California, serves the U.S. Navy at Naval Special Warfare Center (NSWCEN), which provides initial assessment and selection and subsequent advanced training to the Sailors who make up the Navy’s SEAL and Special Boat communities.
Palmer joined the Navy 19 years ago. Today, he is proud to be a special warfare boat operator at NSWCEN, located in San Diego.
“Both of my grandfathers were in the Navy and served in WWII,” said Palmer. “My older brother also joined the Navy right after high school. They were my inspiration for wanting to join.”
Palmer grew up in Huntington Beach, attended Huntington Beach High School and graduated in 1998.
“Growing up in Huntington Beach I spent a lot of time outside and on the ocean,” said Palmer. “Those skill sets made an impact on why I chose the Navy as a career path. I fell right into the career that I was born to do.”
An affinity for the water and a passion for service continues to drive Palmer in his capacity leading outreach efforts on behalf of Naval Special Warfare.
“This is a great time to be a part of Naval Special Warfare as we transform how we assess, develop and train for the character, cognitive and leadership attributes that are necessary for the force,” said Capt. Brian Drechsler, commodore, NSWCEN. “To be ready to meet the nation’s next military challenges, Naval Special Warfare must constantly evolve to be highly reliable, relevant, authentic, timeless and accountable. I’m incredibly proud to serve alongside our Sailors as we bring these initiatives to life.”
Serving in the Navy means Palmer 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.
“The Navy has an overwhelming maritime presence in the different communities and capabilities that we provide,” said Palmer. “Maintaining preeminence of the maritime domain gives our nation a constant presence around the world.”
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.
According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, the Navy will focus its efforts on four priorities: Sailors, readiness, capabilities and capacity.
“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”
Palmer’s experience in the Navy has been marked with significant opportunity for personal development.
“As a chief at the tactical level taking my small boat detachment downrange on deployment and leading my men through all of the facets that we do on deployment and bringing them all home safely is my greatest achievement,” said Palmer.
As Palmer continues to serve, he takes pride in being a member of the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy is filled with heritage and legacy and above all, honor,” added Palmer. “Having the ability to serve has made me a servant leader and I see it as a privilege to serve my country.”