Pleasant Hill native retires from Navy


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel

Navy Office of Community Outreach

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – U.S. Navy Capt. Steven Thomas, a native of Pleasant Hill, Ohio, retired after nearly 29 years of service in a ceremony on Jan. 30 in Point Mugu, California, while serving at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division.

Thomas graduated from Newton High School in 1987 and earned a degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The skills and values needed to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Pleasant Hill.

“My hometown was instrumental to my success,” Thomas said. “Small farm town values matter. Treating everyone with dignity and respect regardless of their position or job, the work that needs to be done is what matters, not how hard or messy it is, working as a team to achieve the job, stepping up to lead when something needs done and enjoying the simple things in life are all values that came from my home.”

Thomas enlisted in the Navy in March of 1995. He rose to the rank of aviation electronics technician 3rd Class before becoming an EA-6B electronic countermeasures officer.

“My grandfather was a chief petty officer for the Navy serving as an immigrant from Spain,” Thomas said. “I felt it was important to serve my country. I have two nephews, Daniel Thomas and Matthew Thomas (Covington, Ohio), who followed my footsteps and are currently serving as a chief petty officer and first class petty officer, respectively.”

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.

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

“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.”

Thomas has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.

“Each of my tours had momentous events that I was a part of,” Thomas said. “Being part of the counter IED task force while at 5th Fleet in Bahrain is one, the teamwork we built between the services that resulted in very successful operations while deployed in Afghanistan is another, my time on the Joint Staff through Tomodachi, Haiti, and Libya. Perhaps my time as air boss on the USS George H.W. Bush was the best where I received a leadership award that was peer-nominated. There, I was able to guide about 500 Sailors while doing one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, let alone the Navy.”

Thomas can take pride in serving America through military service.

“To me, I wanted to serve my country and the Navy was my community,” Thomas said. “I had the privilege to work with some of the greatest Americans in the world. I worked in an organization that worked hard in harsh conditions, where life and death were part of the equation in every event and where ideals like honor, courage and commitment were inculcated in the culture. It was a place where those who worked hard and achieved results were recognized and promoted. It isn’t perfect. The Navy has flaws but every leader worked as hard as they could to leave the organization better than they found it. The Navy, as a mirror of society, gives me hope for our future.”

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