Honor, courage, and commitment are the Navy's three core values, and for Nadine Cater, it was the adventure that drew her attention, but the service that impacted her life.
Nicole Butler met up with Cater to talk about her service and how it changed her life.
Looking at the Navy symbol, Nadine Cater thinks back on her time in service.
In 1995, Cater entered into the Navy as an officer, and her first time boarding the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk was a day she will never forget.
"It was a predominantly male ship and here I am trying to tell people what to do who have been in there probably longer than I have been on Earth, so it was one of those things that I had to learn that just because I have bars on my shoulders doesn't mean I know everything," Cater says.
Cater says her team quickly became like family. Everyone did their part to make the ship function. Her role was supply officer.
"Which means I order everything. I am the Walmart on the ship, everybody had to go through me. Bullets, beans, and everything in between," she says.
Cater says she joined the Navy to see the world and find adventure.
"I would just love to spin a globe and say, 'YEAH! I'm going there,'" she says.
She's seen it all, from riding camels through the desert to living in Japan, but she holds one experience above the rest -- being catapulted off the ship.
"That's better than any rollercoaster ride I've ever ridden. Imagine yourself being pulled back in a rubberband and just shot forward," Cater says.
But it wasn't always fun and games. Sometimes her crew would be at sea almost a month.
"You pulled into a port then it was like, 'AH!' but as long as you were on the water, it was like a long Monday... a very long Monday," she laughs.
But Cater says to this day, seeing veterans and hearing their stories makes her proud of her time in service.
"I'm still a little emotional about it, but I just admire all of those who have gone before me," she cries.
Nadine says she knows the military life isn't for everyone, but she encourages anyone who is thinking about it to join.
It was an experience that shaped her life and she knows it can do the same for others.
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