Paragould native serves as U.S. Navy Sailor in Horn of Africa

Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Natalia Grummel, from Paragould, pauses for a moment between tasks for a photo on base, Nov. 9, 2020. Grummel serves as part of law enforcement personnel where she is a patrolman that conducts base security and assists as a dispatcher. Camp Lemonnier is an operational installation that enables U.S., allied and partner nation forces to be where and when they are needed to ensure security in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti — Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Natalia Grummel, from Paragould, is a U.S. Navy Sailor deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), and is a part of base security where she is a patrolman. Located in an austere environment, Camp Lemonnier is a U.S. Navy base located in the Horn of Africa and is the only enduring U.S. military base on the continent of Africa.

At CLDJ, Grummel conducts base security and also serves as a dispatcher as part of law enforcement personnel on base.

“The United States Navy requires the best and brightest to keep our fleet ready and able for any test that comes before us,” said Capt. Kyle Schuman, commanding officer of CLDJ. “Petty Officer Grummel is the epitome of these standards and represents Sailors who personify the fighting spirit of America and serve with honor and courage to protect liberty around the globe.”

Grummel, a graduate of Arkansas State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business, has grown professionally while assigned to CLDJ.

“For me being a Reservist, being assigned to Camp Lemonnier has given me the opportunity to do my job,” said Grummel. “When I’m at drill, I’d be at the gate checking ID. So for me, this is a great chance to do law enforcement work.

“As for transitioning from a Reservist to being assigned to CLDJ, Grummel credits her department for her success.

“My work section has been really helpful,” said Grummel. “They’ve shown me around and helped me learn what I need to know in order to get my qualifications.

“Camp Lemonnier provides, operates and sustains superior service in support of combat readiness and security of ships, aircraft, detachments and personnel for regional and combatant command requirements, enabling operations and providing stability in the Horn of Africa while fostering positive U.S.-African Nations relations.

While Grummel is stationed far away from home, she acknowledges how vital her family has been throughout this deployment.

“My family has been important to me,” said Grummel. “I don’t want them to feel that just because I’m over here that I’ve forgotten about them. So, I stay in contact with them so I know what’s going on and to keep that connection.”

Though there are many ways for Sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Grummel is most proud of earning her air warfare pin.

“At the time the program was offered, I had little time to get my air warfare pin before I was to redeploy,” Grummel said. “So, I had to dedicate most of my free time to studying in order to pass my board and earn my pin.

“As a member of the U.S. Navy, Grummel, and other Sailors stationed at Camp Lemonnier and around the world, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe for generations of Sailors who will follow.

“I joined the Navy as a way to travel the world and to see what I could do as far as stepping out of my comfort zone,” Grummel said.

As for what she likes most about her job, “it’s the people you run across on a daily basis,” said Grummel. “There are some really interesting people out there.”

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