Desire for service inspires Roseville woman
Roseville, Calif. – Airman Apprentice Lolita Morales, a native of Roseville, California, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to a helicopter squadron operating out of Norfolk, Virginia.
Morales graduated in 2021 from Woodcreek High School.
The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Roseville.
“Where I’m from seems to constantly evolve and develop to meet the needs of the community’s rich diversity,” said Morales. “It’s very similar to the Navy, and I appreciate that we’re all different, coming together from all over, with an array of backgrounds, experiences, and a wide range of cultures and ethnicities, but all sharing the same desire to serve.”
In the family
Morales joined the Navy nine months ago. Today, Morales serves as an aviation maintenance administrationman with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28.
“I joined the Navy because I wanted to be challenged,” said Morales. “My dad, Richard Backer, is a Navy veteran, so I was able to experience the positive impact that service can have on one’s life and their professional development.”
Members of HSC-28 fly and maintain the Navy’s MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter. Navy helicopters are able to perform many different missions. In general, some of the most common operations include search and rescue, air assaults, medical evacuations, supply transport and hunting submarines.
This year commemorates 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy. In 1973, the first eight women began flight school in Pensacola, Florida. Six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold” one year later. Over the past 50 years, the Navy has expanded its roles for women to lead and serve globally and today our women aviators project power from the sea in every type of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard aircraft. According to Navy officials, our nation and our Navy are stronger because of their service.
Supporting National Defense
Serving in the Navy means Morales is part of a team 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.
“My job is a true readiness enabler by ensuring aircraft remain operational, performing duties to include the preparation and scheduling of the aircraft’s inspections, executing maintenance on its systems, operating the launch and landing gear and overseeing all associated logbooks and records,” said Morales. “I’m an inherently organized person, so the job absolutely fits my personality and work traits. Because the Navy is sea, air and land, I see this function as a necessity to make sure aircraft that support our national defense are always ready.”
Scheduling aircraft inspections and issuing work orders. Inspecting and performing detailed maintenance on all internal and external aircraft systems. Operating and maintaining aircraft launch and landing gear systems. Maintaining engine logbooks and associated aircraft records.
With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
Morales has already achieved quite a bit during the past year of military service.
“It wasn’t all that long ago when I made the commitment to serve, but in that short amount of time I’ve completely stepped out of my comfort zone,” said Morales. “I am more sure of myself now, and I’m incredibly proud of the work I do, which has ultimately made me a better sailor and that much more eager to learn and seek further growth professionally and personally.”
As Morales and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.
“In a way I feel complete. Simply put, I belong here and I’m honored to wear the uniform.”Lolita Morales
Morales is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“My dad and mom, Richard and Adrienne Backer, always encouraged me to dream big and pursue my goals with passion,” added Morales. “It meant so much to me that they attended my boot camp graduation, and were by my side to see me accomplish the first of many, in what I hope to be a very successful career in the Navy.”