A Rome native is serving with the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, supporting TOPGUN aviators at the U.S Navy’s premier tactical warfare training center.

Petty Office 2nd Class Victoria Grudzinski is a 2009 graduate of Rome Catholic High School.

“I was raised Catholic, so I learned to put others before yourself and the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated,” said Grudzinski. “The Navy is a team, so you have to work with other people and compromise with them. When you have animosity towards each other, everything falls apart.”

Grudzinski joined the Navy because both of her grandparents served -- her dad’s father was in the Polish Army and her mom's dad was a part of the Polish Resistance.

She serves as an aviation electronics technician aboard the Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada.

The mission of NAS Fallon is to support carrier air wings prior to deployment, as well as, other units during training and exercises. The base is also home to a 14,000-foot runway, which is the longest in the Navy.

TOPGUN is a prestigious program only open to the top one percent of naval aviators.

It was introduced 52 years ago, with the mission of reducing casualties of naval aviators sustained during the Vietnam War.

Since then, TOPGUN continues to train the finest naval aviators and has inspired one blockbuster movie released in May 1986, with a sequel planned for release in May.

Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander Naval Air Forces, says much like the trend that followed the original film, he’s confident that “Top Gun: Maverick” will have a tremendous impact on Navy recruiting efforts which will greatly increase the numbers of brave and talented Sailors among the ranks.

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