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Petty Officer 2nd Class Frank Ware adjusts levels on a soundboard on his portable studio, working on his upcoming album aboard the USS Kitty Hawk.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Frank Ware adjusts levels on a soundboard on his portable studio, working on his upcoming album aboard the USS Kitty Hawk. (Joseph Vernola / Courtesy of U.S. Navy)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Whether at sea or in the club, Petty Officer 2nd Class Frank Ware is here to rock the house.

As a fire control systems technician, Ware spends eight to 10 hours a day working on maintaining the computer and mechanical components of one of USS Kitty Hawk’s missile self-defense systems.

As an aspiring rapper-producer, Ware spends his off time mixing, writing and producing his own music.

Ware — originally from Jacksonville, N.C. — said Tuesday he has been into music, whether break dancing or DJing or creating, since childhood. But as Ware grew older, he decided to explore a career in the armed services.

To his surprise, he found that his musical aspirations combined well with his military service. Using a laptop computer, a keyboard and a mixer, Ware created a sea-going recording studio.

According to Ware, being in the military is the perfect environment to hone many of the necessary skills needed to succeed in the music industry: how to work long hours, a willingness to travel and how to live out of a suitcase.

“The military and music industry are similar,” Ware said. “The way I see it, if you can’t make it in the military, you definitely can’t make it in the music industry.”

Ware’s supervisor, Petty Officer 1st Class R.Q. Hooks, said it’s important for every sailor to have a creative outlet. And in Ware’s case, Hooks said, that outlet is both good for morale and entertaining.

“Ware has a strong work ethic, and his goals are on a level that far exceeds his peers,” Hooks said in an e-mail Thursday. “[Ware] has a plan to reach the stars, and so far he hasn’t missed a beat.”

Ware combines multiple styles of music. When pressed to describe his sound, he said it is a cross between rapper Kanye West and the production duo of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, aka The Neptunes.

The sailor said he is juggling several different music projects. “I am putting together my second CD, as well as working with other musicians aboard Kitty Hawk to record a compilation CD,” he said.

With a little more than two years in the Navy, Ware said he’s happy with life’s direction.

But — this from a guy who shoots missiles for a living — he said whether it’s music or missiles, everyone should keep one thing in mind: “Take me seriously, because I mean business.”

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