Sign In

Commander Richlyn C. Ivey and the United States Navy share New Opportunities for SJGC students

By Sterling Bright
December 9, 2020

Commander Richlyn C. IveyCommander Richlyn C. Ivey is a Georgetown, South Carolina native who obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communications (SJGC) in 2005. While at FAMU she was a part of the four-year Navy Reserve Officer Training (NROTC) program. She was given her commission in 2005, which started her now 15 plus career in the armed forces.

When Ivey was given her commission in 2005, she became a Surface Warfare Officer. Her first tour of duty was as Combat Information Center Officer and collateral duty public affairs officer aboard the USS Lake Champlain. Ivey explained how after her time as a Surface Warfare Officer she was able to put in a package to become a public affairs officer.

She stated how this move helped align her more with what she completed during her time as an undergraduate student. Ivey currently serves as Commander Naval Surface Force Atlantic, where they provide support to 75 ships. The ships stretch from Virginia to Spain, which gives her plenty of responsibility and experience.

Commander Ivey also discussed the exciting opportunities that the Navy has to offer for graduating and upperclassmen students. They are seeking talented individuals with Journalism or Public Relations backgrounds. They are looking for students who are seeking to become public affairs officers in the Navy. The program is known as Officer Candidate School which provides an opportunity to serve. This process is different than enlisting or doing an ROTC program but this opportunity allows you to join as early as March and start an exciting career in the armed forces. The application process ends in February and could open several doors most students never imagined.

“Working as a public affairs officer is a unique experience. One you get to serve your country. Two you get to experience and see things that the average person doesn’t get to see right away. You get to see the world and meet different people and it’s just a great opportunity,” said Commander Ivey.

Ivey went on to discuss how SJGC helped give her great hands-on experience in her future career. While on “The Hill” Ivey participated in Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), The Famuan, Journey Magazine, and also interned at the FAMU Public Relations Office. She even went on the pledge the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

“If there is an internship or opportunity to work the Famuan or work the magazine. Get involved with those opportunities and mediums. If you know it’s something you want to do, just stay focused on it, pray about it and then put the work into it,” said Commander Ivey.

Commander Ivey is an example of how she put the work into her career to be where she is today. She received a Master’s degree in Public Relations and Corporate Communications in 2011 from Georgetown University. Then in 2015, she graduated from the U.S. Naval War College with a Master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. She discussed how much she learned from every opportunity and wanted to use every chance she had to improve on her skills as an officer. Now she wants to extend that knowledge and expertise to students as they embark on a new career.