Navy Region Hawaii Sailor reaches career milestone

Ensign Phillip Harper

Ensign Phillip Harper

Story and photos by MC2 Robert Stirrup

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Ensign Phillip Harper is this week’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Warrior of the Week.

On April 29, Harper was able to mark off another milestone in his career as he went from the rank of first class petty officer to the rank of ensign.

Harper received his commissioning through the Navy’s Limited Duty Officer program, where senior enlisted personnel who are considered highly skilled in their job field are selected to become a commissioned officer.

“When I first found out the news, my wife and I were getting ready for work when my former flag secretary had called me. He asked to speak to my wife and before I knew it she was crying on the phone so immediately I assumed the worse,” Harper said. “When she hung up she told me ‘congratulations you’re going to be an ensign.’ When those words came out of her mouth I was overcome with so much emotion that I too began to cry. It was an honor then and it’s an honor now.”

Harper said he credits those around him for helping him get to where he is at today.

“I credit God for sustaining me throughout my life and my naval career,” he said. “I also thank my many shipmates who helped groom me along the way and my wife for always being so supportive and motivating me every step of the way.”

After 13 years of service, Harper stated that the Navy has provided him with many opportunities.

“The Navy has afforded me every opportunity to succeed from the time that I enlisted until now,” he said. “I could not have asked to join a finer branch of service.”

Harper said that in his free time he enjoys everything Hawaii has to offer including hiking, golfing and exploring the island.

Harper stated that volunteering throughout the community and working with children is one of his passions.

“I love working with children. When I was a kid, my mother would always volunteer at my school and I think by seeing her sacrifice her time to help others, it rubbed off on me,” Harper noted. “I think that volunteering is a lot less tasking when what you’re volunteering for means something to you.”

Harper will detach from Navy Region Hawaii in June and become the administrative officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 195.

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Category: Warrior of the Week