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NEWS | May 31, 2023

Profiles in Professionalism: OS2 Chaurice Smothers

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW/IW) Lawrence Davis, Navy Reserve Region Readiness and Mobilization Command Fort Worth

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Chaurice Smothers, assigned to Littoral Combat Ship Maintenance Execution Team Alpha in Fort Worth, Texas, joined the Navy Reserve after graduating high school in Allen, Texas in 2016.
As a young adult still trying to find her calling, Smothers explained that it was the flexibility the Navy Reserve offers that appealed to her most.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after graduation, and I had no intentions of joining the military, until I spoke to a Navy recruiter who visited my school,” said Smothers. “They told me about the different types of job skills I could learn and how many of those skills translate into college education credits. The recruiters explained to me how I would still be able to pursue a civilian career and the many benefits that come with joining the Navy Reserve.”
As an operations specialist (OS), Smothers’ job responsibilities include tracking, classifying, and evaluating potential contacts (surface vessels or aircraft in the vicinity of own ship) using shipboard radar equipment.
“I absolutely love it,” said Smothers. “OS is the best rate in the Navy. We monitor the ship’s location and check for any aircraft, ships, submarines or other vessels in the area. We keep the ship and crew safe and able to carry out the mission.”
In 2022, Smothers deployed for nine months aboard the Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Trenton (T-EPF-5). She is now preparing to embark on her second deployment.
“During my first deployment, I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it turned out to be a really great experience,” said Smothers. “I love being a Sailor. I have visited lots of different countries I never imagined I’d ever get to experience, which has helped me to expand my mind.”
As a civilian, Smothers is an insurance agent, and she is also working toward earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law. Her goals are to start a civilian career as a public defender and to be selected for commission as a Navy Reserve officer to become a judge advocate general (JAG).
Smothers explained that, although many public defenders may not earn significant salaries, her plan to continue in the Navy Reserve as a JAG will ensure her financial needs are covered. Through both professions, she will be able to devote her time to doing what she loves: helping others.
“I want to be able to have a positive impact on my community,” said Smothers. “A lot of people just need good legal representation but may not have the financial means to attain it. That’s why I want to be able to provide that resource for them. I want to be able to advocate for people and to be a voice for those who feel they don’t have one.”
Smothers attributed much of her Navy success thus far to the leaders and mentors at her command who have guided her career along the way. However, she credits her father and grandparents for teaching her some of the most important and lasting life lessons.
“I grew up with my grandparents and my dad, so many of my morals and beliefs come from them,” said Smothers. “One thing they always told me is to never give up and to always stay true to yourself.”
Smothers offered a bit of advice to anyone considering joining the Navy Reserve.
“Do your research and make sure it’s the right fit for you,” said Smothers. “In the Reserve, you get out of it what you put in. You are in control of your destiny.”