San Diego Native Serves with Navy’s Weather Command Headquarters at Stennis Space Center

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Heidi Cheek

Most Americans rely on weather forecasts to plan their daily routine. The U.S. Navy is no different. With numerous ships, submarines and airplanes deployed around the world, sailors and civilians serving with the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, advise Navy leaders about the impact of ocean and atmospheric conditions on future operations.

Ensign Stephen Garrova, a native of San Diego, is one of those responsible for providing timely, comprehensive and tactically relevant information for ships, submarines, aircraft and other commands operating throughout the globe.

As a Navy meteorology and oceanography officer, Garrova is responsible for surveying around the world for the U.S. Navy and its allies.

Garrova credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned growing up in San Diego.

“I learned to take your job seriously, but you don’t have to be uptight about everything you do,” said Garrova. “Be pleasant to work with.”

A key element of the Navy the nation needs is tied to the fact that America is a maritime nation, according to Navy officials, and that the nation’s prosperity is tied to the ability to operate freely on the world’s oceans. More than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water; 80 percent of the world’s population lives close to a coast; and 90 percent of all global trade by volume travels by sea.

“Naval Oceanography defines and applies the physical environment for the entire Navy fleet from the bottom of the ocean to the stars,” said Rear Adm. John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. “There isn’t a plane that flies, a ship or a submarine that gets underway without the sailors and civilians of Naval Oceanography.”

Garrova is playing an important part in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”

Though there are many ways to earn distinction in a command, community and career, Garrova is most proud of being accepted into the meteorology community.

“It’s a small community in the Navy, so it’s a competitive process to be accepted,” said Garrova.

Serving in the Navy is a continuing tradition of military service for Garrova, who has military ties with family members who have previously served. Garrova is honored to carry on that family tradition.

“My father and sister both served in the Navy,” said Garrova. “My father was a naval flight officer, and my sister was a pilot. They shared their adventures that can come with military service.”

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Garrova and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“I’m honored to be part of something bigger than myself,” added Garrova. “The people are what makes serving worthwhile.”

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Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.”Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: