Suffolk resident retires after 22 years in the U.S. Navy

Published 2:31 pm Saturday, April 11, 2015

MRC (SW/AW) John M. Brown, of Suffolk, retired from the U.S. Navy on March 31.

MRC (SW/AW) John M. Brown retired from the U.S. Navy on March 31.

MRC (SW/AW) John M. Brown retired from the U.S. Navy on March 31.

A 1993 graduate of Indian Lake High School, Lewistown, Ohio, Brown is the son of Charles and Patsy Brown, of Talbott, Tenn.

John entered the U.S. Marine Corps after high school graduation in 1993. He was a LAV crewman in the 3rd LAR Battalion stationed in 29 Palms, Calif. He was an expert rifleman.

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During his time in the Marine Corps, he received a Combat Action Ribbon for the 1995 Somalia Conflict United Shield.

John left the Marine Corps in October 1997 and returned to Ohio to attend Upper Valley JVS for machine technology. He earned his machinist certification and worked at Seimens and Sidney Tool and Die.

After earning his certification, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May 1999 as a machinery repairman. He then started the apprenticeship program from the Department of Labor for journeyman machinist.

His naval career includes serving onboard the USS Saipan from 1999 to 2004 in Norfolk as a machinist, work center supervisor and lead petty officer. He participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and completed the Department of Labor Journeyman Machinist Program. He served at Trident Refit Facility Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., from 2004 to 2007 working as a machinist and being in charge of the workshop. He earned his welding degree from Coastal Georgia Community College and earned his Volunteer Service Medal while at Kings Bay, Ga.

He served onboard the USS Monterey from 2007 to 2011, being a machinist, lead petty officer and work center supervisor. He participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Global War on Terrorism Campaign.

His final duty station from 2011 to 2015 was the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, where he made chief petty officer in 2011 and has been in charge of several shipyard shops for production for the Navy’s submarines.

Brown has earned numerous awards during his military career, including the Combat Action Ribbon, two National Defense Medals, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two Global War on Terrorism Medals, six Good Conduct Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Medal, two Armed Forces Expedition Medals, Navy Commendation Medal and Military Outstanding Volunteer Medal .

After retirement, he is being employed by the Norfolk Naval Shipyard as a quality assurance specialist.

His wife of 21 years is Jena Laber-Brown, and his three children are Tyler Sue, age 20, Michael, age 17 (who hopes to follow in his military footsteps as an Army diver), and Colton, age 13.

When asked, he says it has been a pleasure, duty and humbling experience to serve his country.