Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Nolan of Haverhill said his high school athletics experience helped provide him with a sense of teamwork that he relies on while serving aboard a U.S. Navy warship operating out of Norfolk, Virg.
Nolan graduated in 2015 from Haverhill High School.
“Haverhill is a really close-knit community,” said Nolan. “I played hockey the whole time while growing up, and that along with other sports, really helped build upon the lessons of teamwork and supporting one another. I continue to expand on that wisdom and experience in the Navy alongside my shipmates.”
He joined the Navy five years ago and, today, serves as a damage controlman aboard USS Kearsarge.
“My job can be intense, but I work really well under pressure and my functional role comes into play during times of crisis onboard a ship,” said Nolan. “Damage controlmen are responsible for the maintenance and repair of equipment and systems, as well the response efforts to emergencies including damage control, ship stability, preservation of watertight integrity, firefighting, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosive defense.”
Nolan credits his family for helping make a Navy career possible.
“My dad is my go-to person who I call for advice and guidance,” he said. “It feels good knowing how proud he and my mom are of me and what I do in the Navy. As the youngest of three kids with a brother who’s a Navy veteran explosive ordnance disposal technician, a Marine uncle, an Army grandfather and a grandfather who’s a Navy veteran, serving was indeed influenced by my family. However, I also believe in navigating my own path to gain the critical experiences and training that will help me to also succeed outside of the uniform.”
Kearsarge’s crew is made up of approximately 1,200 crewmembers and can accommodate up to 1,800 Marines. Amphibious assault ships transfer Marines, equipment and supplies, and can support helicopters or other aircraft. Kearsarge is the third ship in the Wasp class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and is the fourth Navy vessel to bear the name of Mount Kearsarge in New Hampshire.
With 90% of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
As Nolan and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the U.S. Navy. “I joined the Navy because I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself,” said Nolan. “Knowing what I do protects my family back home puts me at ease.”
Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Williams, Navy Office of Community Outreach, contributed to this story.