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Serving In More Ways Than One: The Miami Native Got To Play Tennis & Serve Her Country

By Ashley Craig, Navy Office Of Community Outreach

March 21, 2024

Lieutenant, Claudia Mackenzie, a native of Miami, Florida, serves the U.S. Navy assigned to Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific. Mackenzie graduated from Ransom Everglades School in 2014. Mackenzie also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2018.

The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Miami.

“Being from Miami taught me how to work with people from all different backgrounds, cultures and life experiences,” said Mackenzie. “I think that’s helped me a lot in the Navy because we constantly experience that on the day-to-day and being able to find a common ground with somebody that you might not share a lot with helps the team succeed.”

Mackenzie joined the Navy six years ago. Today, Mackenzie serves as a Surface Warfare Officer.

“I was recruited to play Tennis at the Naval Academy,” said Mackenzie. “My grandfather served in the British Army, so I knew that I wanted to serve at some point as well. The Naval Academy offered a great education, I was able to play Division I Sports and I got to serve. So it hit all the wickets.”

NIWC Pacific is composed of more than 5,200 Scientists, Researchers, Engineers, Technicians and Personnel who Develop and Deploy Technologies to Support Warfighters from Seabed to Space.

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 recruiting and retaining talented people from across the rich fabric of America.

“We will earn and reinforce the trust and confidence of the American people every day,” said Admiral Lisa Franchetti, Chief of Naval Operations. “Together we will deliver the Navy the nation needs.”

Mackenzie has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“Seeing all my sailors succeed, promote, get qualified and earn awards has probably been the most rewarding thing for me,” said Mackenzie. “My job is to look out for them. When they succeed, that means I’m doing my job well.”

Mackenzie serves a Navy that operates far forward, around the world and around the clock, promoting the nation’s prosperity and security.

“Serving in the Navy means a lot to me,” said Mackenzie. “It has allowed me to grow as an individual, in personal aspects of my life but also professionally. I’ve been able to challenge myself and I’ve learned I’m much more capable than I thought I was.”

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