TOPEKA (KSNT) – Along with his crewmates, Scott Horne ushered in a new wave of naval communication: changing the way those at sea communicate and leading to the modern military internet as we know it.

Hailing from Geary County, Horne was 17 when he joined the Army Reserve. One year later he went into active duty, becoming a part of the Navy communications team, where he would go on to serve for 20 years.

“Each challenge pushed me a little more, made me learn more, and made me become a better person overall,” Horne said.

From an early age, the Horne family values steered Scott towards answering the call of duty.

“My grandfather, he was a WW2 bronze star recipient,” Horne said. “When I joined, he encouraged me. He was always one of my biggest supporters, along with my parents.”   

A man of many hats, Scott’s time in the Navy took him all over the world. It opened the opportunity to be a part of something incredible, changing the way communication worked at sea.

“We were the first ones to actually get it to work properly – to send back and forth properly between a multinational country,” Horne said.

At the time, the internet wasn’t what it was today: it was only able to send emails back and forth between NATO ships while at sea. That all changed with Scott and his crewmates.

“That was just a text email, so the second thing I did since I was the administrator, was I sent a picture of all of us in the comms division aboard the Arthur W Radford – and they responded with that picture there from the Danish ship.”

Even though it took close to 36 hours for the 2 pictures to process, taking that step was integral to the future of naval communication.

“We were having fun with this little network on board, not knowing that within 5 – 7 years we would have full blown internet on board ships, email on board ships,” Horne said. “We were helping create in the way that internet – changing warfare as we knew it as everybody knew it at that time, to what it is now. We had no idea.” 

Horne finished his time in the Navy as an Incident Handler in the Cyber Defense Operations Command, where he worked in global naval computer defense. Today, he still looks for ways to give back to those in the community, as a Geary County volunteer firefighter.