Unlimited opportunities: Davie native helping break barriers; earns law degree in US Navy

Published 7:44 am Monday, July 31, 2023

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By Rick Burke

Navy Office of

Community Outreach

MAYPORT, Fla. – Lt. Taylor Randall, a native of Mocksville, serves aboard Naval Station (NAVSTA) Mayport here.

Randall, a 2008 graduate of Davie County High School, joined the Navy more than nine years ago.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and in 2022 from American University Washington College of Law with a Juris Doctorate.

“I joined the Navy because I believed in the democratic principles on which our country was founded and I wanted to serve in a role where I could defend those principles,” said Randall.

Today, Randall relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Mocksville to succeed in the military.

“My family, teachers and mentors from my hometown demonstrated that interpersonal relationships are key to success, regardless of your occupation or your current phase in life,” said Randall.

These lessons have helped Randall while serving in the Navy.

NAVSTA Mayport is one of three major Navy installations in the Jacksonville area. Mayport is home to a busy seaport as well as an air facility, and has an 8,000 ft. runway capable of handling any aircraft in DoD inventory.

The mission of NAVSTA Mayport is to sustain and enhance warfighter readiness. The Navy at Mayport covers 3,409 acres and is the third largest naval facility in the continental United States.

NAVSTA Mayport is home to more than 70 tenant commands and is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fourth Fleet and the Navy’s first Triton squadron, according to Navy officials.

NAVSTA Mayport was recently selected as the 2023 recipient of the Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence. Put simply, Mayport was selected as the best out of all U.S. Navy installations Fleet-wide.

With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.

“Our mission remains timeless – to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”

Serving in the Navy means Randall is part of a team that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on strengthening alliances, modernizing capabilities, increasing capacities and maintaining military readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy.

“The Navy is instrumental in protecting and projecting the ideals of freedom and democracy around the world,” said Randall.

Randall and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.

“My proudest accomplishment has been my ability to learn and adapt in different environments, such as at sea as a surface warfare officer and ashore as a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps,” said Randall. “Leading and training fellow sailors has been the highlight of my career.”

As Randall and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy.

“Serving in the Navy has given me the ability and opportunity to have unique experiences that I am confident that I never would have in my life without the Navy,” said Randall. “It’s allowed me to demonstrate to my daughters and other women and men that women play a critical role in a male-dominated workforce, such as serving in the military.”

Randall is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.

“I would like to thank both my parents, Stanley and Pam Randall, and my husband and two girls for all their love and continuing support,” said Randall.

“For anyone who is unsure of the path that they want to take in life, I encourage them to talk to a Navy recruiter, enlisted or officer,” added Randall. “The military provides leadership and educational opportunities that are unmatched. For instance, the Navy paid for my law school through the law education program.”