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Seaman Cedric Lee is a 2013 Denham Springs High School graduate and student at Southern University. Jones serves aboard USS Carter Hall.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — A Denham Springs native received accelerated advancement to seaman after graduating first in a class of 44 sailors, a news releases said.

Seaman Cedric Lee is a 2013 Denham Springs High School graduate and student at Southern University. Jones serves aboard USS Carter Hall.

“The seaman are the shipboard’s maintenance and operations,” said Lee.

Lee joined the Navy one year ago. “I joined the Navy to advance my law enforcement career,” Lee said. “I plan to work for a federal law enforcement agency such as the DEA, FBI or ATF.”

According to Navy officials, USS Carter Hall is a U.S. Navy Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship. The Harpers Ferry class of the United States Navy is a class of dock landing ships completed in the early 1990s. Modified from the Whidbey Island class, the design sacrifices landing craft capacity for more cargo space, making it closer to an amphibious transport dock type, but was not designated as such.

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition, Lee is most proud of advancing in rank.

“My most proud accomplishments are my accelerated advancements,” Lee said. “I was able to get those through hard work and dedication. I would go back to my room after class and just study all of the material over and over again. It paid off. I didn’t receive a single score lower than 100 percent in any of my classes.”

“To me, serving in the Navy means being a source of hope for people around the world,” Lee said. “We show that someone actually cares for them and wants to help.”