News Department

Morris County native supports versatile missions while serving at U.S. Navy Helicopter Squadron

NORFOLK, VA – Petty Officer 3rd Class Michael Agnes, a native of Jefferson Township, supports versatile missions while serving at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2. Agnes joined the Navy two years ago and today, he serves as an aviation rescue swimmer.

“I wanted to serve my country after graduating college,” said Agnes.

Agnes attended Norwich University and graduated in 2020. Skills and values similar to those found in Jefferson are similar to those required to succeed in the military.

“I learned hard work, dedication and to see things through,” said Agnes.

These lessons have helped Agnes while serving with the Navy.

Members of HSC 2 fly and maintain helicopters for the U.S. Navy. 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; one year later six of them, known as “The First Six,” earned their “Wings of Gold.” 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. Our Nation and our Navy is stronger because of their service.

As a member of the Navy, Agnes is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“We are the forward force that makes sure the world stays safe,” said Agnes.

With 90 percent 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.

“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

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

“Earning my aviation warfare pin and becoming a fully qualified rescue swimmer were meaningful moments in my Navy career,” said Agnes.

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

“Serving in the Navy means waking up every day, choosing every day to wake up and put on the uniform to support the greater good and support our country,” said Agnes.

Agnes is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I want to thank my family and all my friends and mentors along the way who have helped me get to where I’m at,” said Agnes. “There are a lot of people who have taken time out of their lives to help me and I’m so grateful.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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