SAN DIEGO — Petty Officer 1st Class Tashae Propst, a native of Concord, joined the Navy partly because her father was in the Navy.
“My dad got out of the Navy when I was born, and I later served aboard the same ship he served on,” she said.
Now, 16 years later, Propst is stationed with the Center for Surface Combat Systems San Diego, which trains sailors in the operation and maintenance of shipboard weapons and sensors.
“The training we implement at Det San Diego is an example of how Ready, Relevant Learning is shaping a more capable and lethal force,” explained Capt. Dave Stoner, CSCS commanding officer. “Through innovative solutions, such as our Combined Integrated Air and Missile Defense and Anti-Submarine Warfare Trainer, known as CIAT and our newest, mobile combat simulator, the On Demand Trainer, we are moving away from the traditional instructor-led training at the podium and creating an immersive learning environment facilitated by an instructor that improves individual performance and in turn, shaping confident and competent sailors who know how to fight and win. To be victorious in our next fight, sailors must know how to extract every bit of warfighting capability resident in our ships.”
Propst, a 2003 graduate of Concord High School, is an operations specialist at the training center in San Diego.
“I teach communication and navigation skills to students who will be serving aboard U.S. Navy ships,” said Propst.
According to Propst, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Concord.
“Stay humble and treat others the way you want to be treated,” said Propst. “It’s important to our life aboard ships, especially if we’re in combat. Humble yourself and better understand how other people work.”
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.
CSCS is a global organization of professional military and civilian educators and support personnel focused on training the Surface Navy to fight and win. CSCS trains over 36,000 U.S. and allied sailors a year to operate, maintain and employ weapons, sensors, communications, combat systems and deck equipment of surface warships to build combat-ready ships with battle-minded crews.
CSCS provides more than 538 courses, awards 114 Navy Enlisted Classifications, and trains more than 38,000 sailors a year. The command’s mission is to develop and deliver combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority.
According to Admiral Mike Gilday, the chief of Naval Operations, the focus of today’s Navy is squarely on warfighting, warfighters and the capabilities needed for the Navy of the future.
“I am confident we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Gilday. “And we will do so with urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”
There are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers. Propst is most proud of balancing Navy and family life.
“I have two children who are 10 and 6, and they’re very important to me,” said Propst. “My career is also important to me, so I can provide stability for my family.”
For Propst, serving in the Navy is a tradition passed down from generations and one she hopes to continue.
“In addition to my dad, who served in the Navy, I also have brothers who are in the Army,” said Propst.
As a member of the Navy, Propst, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.
“The Navy gives me a purpose,” said Propst. “When I go home, everyone’s so proud that I’ve made it this far, and they encourage me to keep going. It’s been a great career. I’ve been able to travel the world and was stationed overseas in Japan, Italy and Hawaii.”