By Megan Brown, Navy Office of Community Outreach
NORFOLK, Virginia – Submariners make up only 10 percent of the U.S. Navy’s personnel, but they play a critical role in carrying out one of the Defense Department’s most important missions: strategic deterrence. Lt. j.g. Remya Wiley, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea to help ensure American’s safety.
Wiley joined the Navy over four years ago. Today, Wiley is serving aboard USS Washington.
Growing up in San Antonio, Wiley attended Health Careers High School and graduated in 2013.
Skills and values similar to those found in San Antonio are similar to those required to succeed in the military.
“San Antonio taught me resilience through hardship,” said Wiley. “In the Navy, there can be some very tough days where you want to give up. However, you have to keep going because giving up would be like giving up on your country. On those hard days, strong resilience is necessary to keep going. Another thing I learned in San Antonio is humility. In this job, you need to admit when you are wrong and you need to be able to ask for help.”
These lessons have helped Wiley while serving in the Navy.
Known as America’s “Apex Predators!,” the Navy’s submarine force operates a large fleet of technically-advanced vessels. These submarines are capable of conducting rapid defensive and offensive operations around the world, in furtherance of U.S. national security.
There are three basic types of submarines: fast-attack submarines (SSN), ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) and guided-missile submarines (SSGN).
Fast-attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. The Virginia-class SSN is the most advanced submarine in the world today. It combines stealth and payload capability to meet Combatant Commanders’ demands in this era of strategic competition.
The Navy’s ballistic-missile submarines, often referred to as “boomers,” serve as a strategic deterrent by providing an undetectable platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles. SSBNs are designed specifically for stealth, extended patrols and the precise delivery of missiles. The Columbia-class SSBN will be the largest, most capable and most advanced submarine produced by the U.S. – replacing the current Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarines to ensure continuous sea-based strategic deterrence into the 2080s.
Guided-missile submarines provide the Navy with unprecedented strike and special operation mission capabilities from a stealthy, clandestine platform. Each SSGN is capable of carrying 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, plus a complement of heavyweight torpedoes to be fired through four torpedo tubes.
“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”
Strategic deterrence is the Nation’s ultimate insurance program, according to Navy officials. As a member of the submarine force, Wiley is part of a rich history of the U.S. Navy’s most versatile weapons platform, capable of taking the fight to the enemy in the defense of America and its allies.
Serving in the Navy means Wiley is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The Navy has a wide presence that shows our adversaries we have a strong defense,” said Wiley. “Having that command of the sea is very important for the world to know that we are strong and our country is not to be messed with.”
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Wiley and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“I am prior enlisted, so my proudest accomplishment was being chosen to become an officer in my first two years,” said Wiley. “That was very humbling for me because it gives me a huge sense of responsibility but also pride.”
As a member of the Navy, Wiley is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Being in the Navy means serving your shipmates around you because there are going to be days when they have their ups and downs,” said Wiley. “Taking care of your shipmates ensures missions are successfully and safely executed.”
Wiley is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I want to thank my mom, Vida Solomon, for always being there to listen to me while I am unsure about certain decisions in my life and encouraging me to keep going,” added Wiley.