Looks like Amarillo's got another hometown hero to root for. And that hero is Petty Officer 3rd Class Todd Watkins, who's diving headfirst into a 123-year-old tradition of submarine service.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class
James Green, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Watkins, decked out in his Navy Submarine School gear, is learning the ins and outs of operating submarines as he is now qualified for the Navy's Nuclear Program. His mission? To make sure those submersible vessels complete their top-secret missions across the globe. No biggie, right?

When asked why he joined the Navy, Watkins said the COVID-19 pandemic had him diving deep into job-hunting troubles. Thankfully Navy swooped in and offered him a steady gig. Talk about a lifesaver!

Growing up in Amarillo and graduating from Tascosa, Watkins stated that he learned some skills and values that are right on par with those required for military success. He cited them as "realistic expectations and taking things with a grain of salt" . He also stated that time in the Navy is relatively easy, thanks to his down-to-earth mindset.

Watkins will be joining a Navy submarine force, who are known as "America's Apex Predators" These underwater marvels are armed to the teeth with advanced technology, ready to hunt down and destroy enemy submarines and ships. They can even rain down missiles on targets ashore and carry Navy SEALs.

Watkins also has the opportunity to serve aboard the Navy's ballistic-missile submarines, fondly known as "boomers". These submarines serve as a strategic deterrent, silently lurking beneath the waves with submarine-launched ballistic missiles primed and ready.


Petty Officer Watkins is truly making his mark in the Navy, and we as a city couldn't be prouder. Qualifying for the Navy Nuclear Program? Now that's the stuff legends are made of! It's one of the toughest gigs out there and he's taking it on like a boss.

We salute you Watkins, You're supporting the backbone of a strong Navy, safeguarding our interests, and defending freedom and democracy worldwide. From Amarillo to the seven seas, you're making us proud.

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