ATLANTIC OCEAN – A native of Washington Court House is serving aboard USS Iwo Jima, a U.S. Navy Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
Petty Officer Third Class Morgan Leasure joined the Navy two and half years ago to travel the world.
“I’ve always wanted to see as much of the world as possible since I was little,” said Leasure. “So far, the Navy has helped me afford to travel by myself and has sent me all over the country and now across the ocean.”
Today, Leasure serves as an air traffic controller responsible for giving pilots instructions while they are flying and after they have landed from airport radar rooms/towers.
“I am in charge of the safe and efficient handling of all aircraft under my control,” said Leasure.
Iwo Jima is the seventh Wasp-class amphibious assault ship and the second ship in the U.S. Navy to bear that name. The ship was named for the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II.
According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC), as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.
According to Leasure, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Washington Court House.
“Most people back home are very friendly, homely people,” said Leasure. “They taught me about compassion, keeping good attitudes and showing hospitality to everyone you come in contact with. Joining the Navy, you meet all different kinds of people who aren’t always the easiest to deal with, and you work in situations that make it hard to keep a smile on your face. However, because of where I come from and the community that helped raise me, I try to always stay positive and show kindness to anyone I come in contact with.”
Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and career, Leasure is most proud of Control Exercise.
“The weather on the ship was terrible, we had a helicopter trying to land and had made two attempts but couldn’t see the ship at all,” said Leasure.”On his third attempt, other sailors put smoke lights in the water, and I talked the pilot in to a safe landing. Afterwards, the pilot himself came to see me, thank me and shook my hand. “
As a member of the U.S. Navy, Leasure, as well as other sailors, know they are part of a tradition providing the Navy the nation needs.
“Serving in the Navy is something I’ll cherish forever, whether I stay in for a full 20 years or I get out, I’ll always have memories of my experiences and the people I met along the way,” added Leasure.