Military veterans are a part of RDO teams across our footprint and work in roles of all varieties. Every veteran has a unique story, and in recognition of Veterans Day, Wadena Team Lead Jonathan Robbins shared his story of service in U.S. Navy.
Jonathan’s family had minimal military background, other than his grandfather who served as a yeoman to General George Patton during World War II. His decision to enlist in the Navy shortly after high school was met with some reluctance from his family, but Jonathan knew it was the right choice for him at the time.
He completed boot camp in Orlando, FL, and was then stationed aboard the historic U.S.S. Lexington, based out of Pensacola. The Lexington is a World War II-era aircraft carrier that was involved in major battles in the Pacific theater.
During Desert Storm, the Lexington was utilized as a training carrier, which pilots used for take-off and landing training. During this time, Jonathan and his shipmates would be at sea for six months at a time, supporting ship functions and the training process for pilots, who, once qualified, would transfer to different ships.
Jonathan spent four years in the Navy, during which time he worked his way to the position of Lead Helmsman. Among his chief responsibilities in this role was controlling the ship’s speed during operation.
Jonathan concluded his naval career with participation in the final decommissioning process for the Lexington, which was officially retired in 1991.
Jonathan values the team experience he gained in the Navy, where everyone understood their role and completed it as required. These skills come in particularly handy in his role on the RDO Farm in Wadena, MN. Jonathan helps drive home the importance of cooperation for his relatively small team, focusing on cross-training and knowledge-sharing to make sure everyone understands and can help with any task.