Lt. Kevin Rader, Orland Park native and 2007 Carl Sandburg High School graduate is serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Rader has served for eight years. He works as a Navy submarine warfare officer within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations.
The U.S. Pacific Fleet is the world’s largest fleet command. It encompasses 100 million square miles, nearly half the Earth’s surface, from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle and from the West Coast of the United States into the Indian Ocean.
As a Navy submarine warfare officer, Rader leads trained teams to safely and effectively operate one of the most complex machines ever built in support of the United States' national defense strategy.
Rader was selected as the Submarine Squadron 6 Junior Officer of the Year in 2016, for his work as the communications officer on USS Montpelier.
Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Rader, who has military ties with family members who have previously served.
Rader is honored to carry on that family tradition.
“My father served in the Army as military police and my grandfather served as a gunner in the Navy during the Korean War,” Rader said in the news release. “Although I wasn’t drawn to join the service because of them, I have always had an inherent desire to serve in some capacity. Submarines were the most appealing way for me to do so.”
According to Navy officials, supporting the high operational tempo and unique challenges of the submarine force builds strong fellowship and a strong sense of mission.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Rader and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving means making a small sacrifice for the good of others, whether that is fellow sailors, people at home, or humanity as a whole,” Rader said in the release.
A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials in a news release, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans.
More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.
Attack submarines are designed to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; strike targets ashore with cruise missiles; carry and deliver Navy SEALs; carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions; and engage in mine warfare. Their primary tactical advantage is stealth, operating undetected under the sea for long periods of time.
Sailors learn engineering and tactical team training during their courses of instruction required to serve aboard submarines using the most advanced technology. Training is tailored to each ship’s specific needs to develop the skills and expertise required to support operations around the world in war and peace.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to in defense circles as the gateway to the Pacific, means Rader is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy
The Pacific is home to more than 50 percent of the world's population, many of the world's largest and smallest economies, several of the world's largest militaries, and many U.S. allies.