Orlando Native Serves with the U.S. Navy Half a World Away

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Petty Officer 3rd Class Gaylord Lawrence is a hospital corpsman serving with DESRON 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Theodore Quintana,
Navy Office of Community Outreach

YOKOSUKA, Japan – An Orlando, Florida, native and 2011 University High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander, Task Force 70, Destroyer Squadron 15 (DESRON 15).

Petty Officer 3rd Class Gaylord Lawrence is a hospital corpsman serving with DESRON 15, forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

A Navy hospital corpsman is responsible for the prevention and treatment of disease and injury, assisting health care professionals in providing medical care to personnel, conducting preliminary physical examinations, performing medical administrative, supply and accounting procedures, and maintaining treatment records and reports.

Lawrence is proud to serve in the Pacific and fondly recalls memories of Orlando.

“Growing up in Orlando I was taught never to give up and stick to the task at hand,” said Lawrence.

Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Yokosuka is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.

“Working here in Japan is uptempo, but that means I am able to learn a lot in a short period of time,” said Lawrence. “It can be stressful at times, but worth it careerwise. I’ve realized I take more pride in things that I do now, knowing that I’m in the military and take things more seriously.”

Lawrence is also proud of receiving a Navy Commendation Medal.

“You make a difference every day,” said Deputy Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Joey Dodgen. “We are the most prepared, highly trained and the most capable force in the Indo Pacific. Our carriers, amphibious assault ships, aircraft and most importantly, our people, are ready today to face regional challenges and lead our Navy’s forces in this theater, just as the officers and sailors of 7th Fleet have done for 75 years. So thank you for all that you do.”

The mission of the DESRON 15 is to conduct underway operations and exercise tactical control of destroyers during peace and wartime operations.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Lawrence and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs. 

“Serving in the Navy means I get to help my country, further my education and explore the world,” said Lawrence.

Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.