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NEWS | Nov. 29, 2021

NSWC Panama City Division National American Indian Heritage Month 2021 - Bobby June

By Katherine Mapp NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Bobby June, SEAL Delivery Vehicle (SDV) in-service engineering agent at NSWC Panama City Division, is rooted in his family’s American Indian heritage.

June’s family is from the Arapaho and Cheyenne Nation, two of the three nations to have fought at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

“My heritage means very much to me. As a youngster, the elders taught me many life lessons that I still hold important today. I didn’t realize how valuable they were until I was older,” he said. “Giving is a huge part of our culture, and this in turn shows who you are."

Powwows offer a powerful manner of self-expression for American Indians and are a blend of historical and modern dress. Individuals don traditional wear, such as June is shown wearing, including fringes, feather headdresses, headbands, breastplates, belts and pouches.

"I love attending powwows," he said. "The music, dance, and the warmth of the people at a powwow is the best experience anyone could witness.”

June joined the Navy in 1987 at the age of 26 as a hull technician before arriving in Panama City, Florida, in 2004 at the SDV School as an instructor, and retired in 2008 after 21 years.

“I wanted to join the U.S. Navy to do better for my family. My father was a military man who served in the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force),” June said. “I wanted to leave the Detroit area, and joining the U.S. Navy was a way to allow my family to see and experience various parts of the country and, as luck would have it, a tour on Guam.”

June began his career at NSWC Panama City Division conducting research and development as the in-service engineering agent for overhauls on the MK 8 and MK 11 SDV. June said he enjoyed his time in the U.S. Navy and appreciates knowing the impact he and his team make to today’s Navy SEALs is significant.

“What I liked most of all is knowing that when SDV Team One and Two are on a mission, the SDV they’re operating are 100 percent capable of completing its mission without any failures that would compromise the team or its success,” he said.