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From Chief Petty Officer Joshua Keim
“Breathe, breathe. Don’t mess this up.”
That is what Operations Specialist 1st Class Giavanni Walker told herself before her third time performing the national anthem for Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in her hometown of Houston in 2019. Last night, the 26-year-old Navy recruiter performed the national anthem at the same place ahead of Game 2 of the World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros. Before a world-wide television audience, she demonstrated just how much she has grown in a short amount of time as both a singer and a Sailor.
In 2013, Walker joined the Navy in search of new adventures, educational benefits, work experience and a journey around the world. After completing her first tour on an aircraft carrier, she reported to Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Houston, where she has flourished as a talent scout, recruiting the next generation of Navy leaders. She was recently selected as NTAG Houston’s Junior Sailor of the Quarter for the third quarter of 2020, and promoted to E-6 through the Navy’s Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP).
“I knew there were young men and women who didn’t know what was on the other side of the door aside from the rumors and movies,” Walker explained. “I wanted to be someone’s light into success like a recruiter was for me.”
It was in the Navy where Walker’s extraordinary voice and musical artistry could not stay hidden for long. Before she knew it, the entire command had heard her euphonic melodies – vulnerable, eloquent yet powerful.
“Once everyone found out I could sing,” she said, “I was singing at nearly every ceremony, program, game and memorial.”
The opportunities and praise she received from her fellow Sailors gave her confidence, and now she has her own definition for confidence.
“To me, serving in the Navy means confidence. It means bravery and courage. It means perseverance,” Walker said. “Most of all, serving in the Navy has aided me to focus on more than myself. Serving in the Navy has helped me to help others around me and empathize with people who are willing to serve, but do not meet the requirements or are unable to.”
You get what you give, and Walker gives a lot. She has changed lives through her recruiting and singing, but for her, the gratitude is the most rewarding part – knowing that you made a meaningful, positive impact in someone else’s life.
“Sailors calling me back after they graduate boot camp and get to their first command to thank me for helping them and guiding them during their transition is the most rewarding pat about being a Navy recruiter,” said Walker.
The Navy gave Walker the confidence to reach the heights she strived for, and it was on full display during her amazing performance at the World Series.
“It is such an honor for me to see my recruiters making a positive impact on their communities,” said Rear Adm. Dennis Velez, Commander of Navy Recruiting Command. “Petty Officer Walker is representing herself and the Navy superbly, and I’m very proud she has been able to use her talent on such a big stage.”
Navy Recruiting Command consists of a command headquarters, three Navy Recruiting Regions, and 26 Navy Talent Acquisition Groups that serve more than 1,000 recruiting stations across the world. Their combined goal is to attract the highest quality candidates to assure the ongoing success of America’s Navy.
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