Merrill native serves with the U.S. Navy half a world away
By Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Zahn
Navy Office of Community Outreach
A Merrill native and 1995 Merrill Senior High School graduate is serving in the U.S. Navy with Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo (CFAS).
Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Annis is the chief staff officer of base operations at Commander Fleet Activities Sasebo, operating out of Sasebo, Japan.
A Navy chief staff officer is second in command to the commanding officer of the base. He is overall responsible for base operations, maintenance, military personnel, staff and families. He is the principal advisor to the commanding officer on all fleet operations.
“I learned to work hard and take care of people, these are hometown and family values that I bring to the Navy,” said Annis.
Annis thus far is proud of having the chance to be able to lead and help sailors and their families. He is appreciative of the people who he serves with and the people who work for him. He believes that he is part of a great group of sailors, families and civilians. He also enjoys being able to do what he does overseas.
Moments like that makes it worth serving around the world ready at all times to defend America’s interests. With more than 50 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and a third of the world’s crude oil passing through the region, the United States has historic and enduring interests in this part of the world. The Navy’s presence in Sasebo is part of that long-standing commitment, explained Navy officials.
“I’m proud and thankful for the opportunity to be able to do what I do for as long as I have,” said Annis. “I enjoy being involved in the operations here and being able to see everyone work together to get the job done. Being able to support the forward deployed naval forces execute their mission on a daily basis is what’s important.”
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Annis and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.
“I think the biggest thing for me is realizing that I’m serving for something larger than myself,” said Annis. “How important and rewarding that is to serve in the Navy.”
Seventh Fleet, which is celebrating its 75th year in 2018, spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the International Date Line to the India/Pakistan border; and from the Kuril Islands in the North to the Antarctic in the South. Seventh Fleet’s area of operation encompasses 36 maritime countries and 50 percent of the world’s population with between 50-70 U.S. ships and submarines, 140 aircraft, and approximately 20,000 sailors in the 7th Fleet.