by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Bill Steele, Navy Office of Community Outreach | SAN DIEGO – Lt. Christian Gotcher, an Orlando native and 2005 graduate of The First Academy, is serving in the U.S. Navy as part of the staff assigned to Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Naval reserve unit, supporting one of the country’s most versatile combat ships.
As a Navy service warfare officer, Gotcher is responsible for managing his reserve team to perform maintenance on the LCS ships.
“I enjoy the satisfaction of job completion, knowing that the active duty sailors don’t have to do as much because we got out there and did it,” said Gotcher.
Gotcher credits success in the Navy to lessons he learned growing up in Orlando.
“Strangely enough, Orlando has such a huge service industry because of Disney,” said Gotcher. “Just having that feeling of relating to people and that sense of customer service has been very helpful for me as an officer.”
COMLCSRON ONE NR is the Reserve unit working alongside their active duty counterparts at COMLCSRON ONE to man, train and equip LCS, in addition to leading Navy-wide change to support the minimally manned rotational crews and mission packages for littoral combat ships.
Designed to defeat threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft, littoral combat ships are a bold departure from traditional Navy shipbuilding programs, supporting multiple missions, such as surface warfare, mine warfare, or anti-submarine warfare. The LCS sustainment strategy was developed to take into account the unique design and manning of LCS and its associated mission modules.
“I continue to be impressed with the high caliber of sailor that the LCS community attracts,” said Capt. Matthew McGonigle, Commander, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One. “When these sailors join LCS, they already know the reputation of our ships as fast, agile, maneuverable and soon to be the largest class of vessel on the waterfront. They also know the credentials of our sailors as being highly trained, talented, mature and versatile. So, the ships’ unique capabilities and the high quality of LCS sailors appeals to those who are eager to be a part of a community which affords them qualification opportunities and chances to excel that they might not get anywhere else.”
Gotcher’s proudest accomplishment so far was serving on the operations support staff of a Navy Seal team while serving in Afghanistan.
Through innovative planning, the design of systems, and crew requirements, the LCS platform allows the fleet to increase forward presence and optimize its personnel, improving the ability of the Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.
As part of that LCS community, Gotcher explained that he and the other sailors of the unit are helping to build a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, including helping to develop new war-fighting capabilities to continue the Navy’s success on the world’s oceans.
“The reservists serving the LCS community are good people,” said Gotcher. “They are just as focused on the mission as our active duty counterparts.”