Marion native highlighted for training of Navy officers

Jul 15, 2021

MARION – Chief Petty Officer Bill Kenny, a native of Marion, joined the Navy to become a fifth-generation military legacy.

Now, 11 years after joining, Kenny is part of the most innovative tactics at Surface Warfare Officers School (SWOS), located in Newport, Rhode Island.

“While the skills taught here at SWOS are unique, I think what sets the school apart is the way things are taught,” said Kenny. “We take pride in educating and bridging topics together to provide sailors with knowledge on a broad range of subjects.”

According to Kenny, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Marion.

“I grew up in a small town where everybody knew everybody,” said Kenny. “That taught me the mindset of, ‘if someone asks for help, then you help them.’ It’s my small town mentality that says, ‘Of course I’ll help.’ Success in the Navy requires that same mentality because we all have to work together to carry out our mission.”

Kenny, a 2002 graduate of Old Rochester Regional High School, is serving as a gas turbine technician (electrical) at the school where naval officers learn to serve as surface warfare officers.

Serving as a surface warrior requires a combination of dedication and sacrifice, but Kenny believes the accomplishments achieved along the way make the hard work worth it.

“I am most proud of teaching at SOWS,” he said. "The feeling here is: I have impacted and improved the fleet in some way with the knowledge I can impart, not only on the officers, but also the junior sailors that teach here.”