U.S. Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Craig Richert, of Bradley, is shown aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Craig Richert, a native of Bradley, is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Essex, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship.

Richert’s job as a Navy aviation boatswain’s mate (handling) means he is responsible for moving aircraft on naval warships and preparing aircraft for flight operations and firefighting training across multiple platforms.

“Service to your country is not just a punch line,” Richert said. “It’s living and working in a culture of people who decided that they wanted to dedicate their lives to something bigger. You can make experiences, memories and see places in your career that you may never have thought were possible.”

Homeported in San Diego, Richert’s ship, the USS Essex, is the second ship in the Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and the fifth ship named for Essex County Mass. Essex was a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat of the U.S. Army and later the U.S. Navy during the American Civil War.

Petty Officer 1st Class Craig Richert is a 2009 graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School and a 2020 graduate of American Military University.

Growing up, Richert said he “learned to treat people the way you want to be treated with respect, no matter who they are.”

He joined the Navy more than nine years ago for a better structure in life and to support a family in the future. Now, he is very proud to have become a husband and a father.

“What I enjoy most being at this command is being able to work with peers and junior sailors on relating naval experiences and mentoring those who seek guidance,” Richert said.

Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.