Hellertown native continues a 123-year tradition
Submariners make up only 10 percent of the U.S. Navy’s personnel, but they play a critical role in carrying out one of the Defense Department’s most important missions: strategic deterrence. Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Hershey, a native of Hellertown, is one of the sailors continuing a 123-year tradition of service under the sea to help ensure Americans’ safety.
Hershey joined the Navy two years ago and today serves as an information technician (submarine) aboard USS Hawaii (SSN 776).
“I was inspired to join the Navy by my uncle and grandfather, who both served,” Hershey said. “My uncle was a Navy diver and my grandfather was a Seabee.”
Growing up in Hellertown, Hershey attended Saucon Valley HS and graduated in 2014.
Skills and values similar to those found in Hellertown are similar to those required to succeed in the military.
“Back home, I learned a lot of simple life lessons from those around me, like keeping a positive attitude at all times,” Hershey said. “One of the most important ones I learned, was that we’re going to have good days and we’re going to have terrible days, but you just have to keep pushing forward.”
These lessons have helped Hershey while serving in the Navy.
“In the Navy, especially as an ITS, we have a high set of standards for how things are done as a war-fighting community to keep threat levels at a minimum for everyone back at home,” Hershey said.
With 90 percent 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.
Hershey and the sailors they serve with have many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during their military service.
“My biggest accomplishment at this early stage of my career is having put on the rank of petty officer second class my first time up,” Hershey said. “I made rank fairly quickly, and I hope to keep up that momentum and see where this takes me.”
As Hershey and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“Serving in the Navy is a great learning and working experience that I look at as a huge impact on my personal growth,” Hershey said.
Hershey is grateful to others for helping make a Navy career possible.
“I want to thank my family back home and my girlfriend for their continued support,” Hershey added. “Also, I want to thank my shipmates at my command for making things easy and being my home away from home.”