The following was written by the Navy Office of Community Outreach, special to The Courier-Herald:
Enumclaw native Felisha Nelsen builds and fights around the world as a member of a naval construction battalion center, located on the island of Guam.
Nelsen, a 2014 Enumclaw High School graduate who holds the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class, is a utilitiesman with the 30th Naval Construction Regiment.
A Navy utilitiesman is responsible for performing construction work which covers the HVAC and plumbing of military buildings. As a construction battalion, there are a lot of details when creating a building from the ground up.
“The diversity of what I am able to do is what I like most,” Nelsen said about her military assignment. “I am able to earn more about construction as a whole.”
She credits her success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Enumclaw.
“Growing up in a small town, it kind of helped me gauge different people and network in a way that would benefit me,” Nelsen said. “It is humbling growing up in a small town and I did not lose sight of where I came from.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Nelsen is most proud of advancing to second class petty officer after being in the military for only three and a half years. She is currently enrolled in college to become an ultrasound technician.
There’s also some family history. “My brother was in the Marines and he got out as an E-5. Serving and living up to his expectations is important for me,” Nelsen said.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Nelsen and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy.
“The Navy gives you a place of belonging,” said Nelsen. “Everyone is family and people go through the same things together. You have your Navy family and your real family and we come together for the greater good.”