JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, HAWAII — A 2015 Irwin County High School graduate and Ocilla native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer, USS Chung-Hoon.
Seaman Joshua Hampton works as a Navy quartermaster aboard the forward-deployed Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Hampton credits success in the Navy to many of the lessons learned in Ocilla.
“My upbringing in my hometown taught me that if you want positive results, then you must exhibit a positive attitude and meet adversity head on,” said Hampton.
Chung-Hoon measures approximately 500 feet and is powered by four gas turbines that allow the destroyer to achieve more than 30 mph in open seas.
Approximately 30 officers and 300 enlisted men and women make up the ship’s company. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the cruiser running smoothly, according to Navy officials. The jobs range from maintaining engines and handling weaponry to washing dishes and preparing meals.
As a Navy quartermaster, Hampton is responsible for the safety of navigation, as well serving as a representative and assistant to the navigator and quartermaster chief.
According to Navy officials, destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required war-fighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute any tasking overseas.
Being stationed in Pearl Harbor, often referred to as the gateway to the Pacific in defense circles, means Hampton is serving in a part of the world taking on a new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances, and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“Our priorities center on people, capabilities and processes, and will be achieved by our focus on speed, value, results and partnerships,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Readiness, lethality and modernization are the requirements driving these priorities.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Hampton is most proud of earning a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal from time served on a minesweeper stationed at Naval Support Activity Bahrain in the Middle East.
“I displayed the utmost dedication to maintaining and repairing the damage control equipment, as well as other various pieces of equipment aboard the USS Dextrous,” said Hampton.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied upon assets, Hampton and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes, one that will provide a critical component of the Navy the nation needs.
“Hawaii is a beautiful island full of all walks of life and cultures. My favorite aspect of living here is that I get to explore alongside my wife.” added Hampton. “Serving in the Navy means honoring the ultimate sacrifice of those who have died serving by also pledging to protect and serve our great nation.”