Sycamore, OH Native Serves Aboard U.S. Navy’s Newest Amphibious Assault Ship

Written on September 7, 2021

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class
Jesse Hawthorne

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jennifer Gold, Navy Office of Community Outreach

SAN DIEGO – Ensign Eva Pahl, a native of Sycamore, Ohio, joined the Navy one years ago. Today, Pahl serves aboard USS Tripoli.

“I’ve always loved leadership opportunities,” said Pahl. “Growing up I was an officer in 4-H (Head, Heart, Hands and Health) and the Future Farmers of America, so I knew I wanted to find similar roles for my career. My dad suggested ROTC and I fell in love with being part of something that was important and gave me the opportunity to lead people in a real-world environment.”

Growing up in Sycamore, Pahl attended Bridges Preparatory Academy and graduated in 2015. Today, Pahl uses the same skills and values learned in Sycamore to succeed in the military.

“My parents taught me that everyone has their own story and it’s important to recognize them,” said Pahl. “That has helped me lead my sailors and teach them that they have a voice and to stand up for the things that they believe in.”

These lessons continue to help Pahl while serving in the Navy.

USS Tripoli incorporates key components to provide the fleet with a more aviation-centric platform. The design features an enlarged hangar deck, aviation maintenance facilities realignment and expansion, a significant increase in available stowage for parts and support equipment, and increased aviation fuel capacity.

“The Sailors aboard this ship have been given an enormous task–get this ship ready,” said Capt. John Kiefaber, Tripoli’s executive officer. “They brought this ship to life in the midst of a pandemic and continued to operate it safely and effectively, rising to every occasion. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Serving in the Navy means Pahl 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 provides a forward presence of a mission ready organization,” said Pahl. “We are constantly improving and expanding our capabilities to respond to threats to our country.”

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, four priorities will focus efforts on 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.”

Pahl and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“For me, the Navy has helped me grow personally and professionally,” said Pahl. “I’ve had to learn to accept that I’m not perfect and grow from my mistakes as a leader. I’m proud of how far I’ve come.”

As Pahl and other sailors continue to train and perform the missions they are tasked with, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Serving in the Navy means to break free from the ‘this is how it’s always been mindset’ and cultivate an environment that encourages sailors to utilize their strengths and recognize their shortcomings,” added Pahl. “I hope to empower everyone that I meet with a sense of pride for our Navy and the accomplishments that we achieve.”


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