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Callaway native credits his success in the Navy to his southwest Virginia roots

Petty Officer 1st Class Dennis Crist is stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii. – Growing up in Franklin County taught Dennis Crist many of the skills needed to succeed in the Navy. 

Petty Officer 1st Class Crist says growing up on a farm in southwest Virginia taught him about a hard day's work and the importance of keeping his word, two crucial skills required in the Navy. 

Keeping with family tradition, Crist followed in the footsteps of both of his grandfathers who also served in the Navy. One was a captain who died while on active duty and the other was a submarine chief yeoman. Their hard work and dedication inspired Crist and he says his decision to join the Navy was greatly influenced by them. 

Crist is currently serving the world's largest fleet of command at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He has spent the last 10 years as a Navy electronics technician and working within the area of operations. 

Being stationed in Hawaii means that Crist is serving in a part of the world taking on new importance in rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy. 

Of the many distinctions available for sailors to earn, Crist is most proud of earning his dolphins, indicating he is qualified in submarines. Wearing the submarine dolphin, Crist says, is "an introduction into a brotherhood and that anyone wearing them I can trust with my life."