By Petty Officer 1st Class James H. Green
A Seffner native and 2005 Armwood High School and 2013 Citadel graduate, Lt. Josh Neeper is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided missile destroyer, USS Halsey.
Neeper works as a fire control officer aboard the guided missile destroyer operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A Navy fire control officer is responsible for the ships fire control system and the tactical interfaces used to defend the ship and strike group.
“I like that my job gives me the ability to make a difference by helping others grow professionally and personally,” said Neeper.
With the ability to conduct anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare, destroyers are capable of sustained maritime operations supporting forward naval presence, maritime security, sea control, deterrence of aggressive actions on U.S. partners around the globe, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide credible combat power, at and from the sea.
“One of the things that makes our Navy the best in the world, is the diverse backgrounds of our sailors,” said Cmdr. David Reyes, Commanding Officer of USS Halsey. “Their ability to work together and bring their different perspectives to our ship, missions and various challenges enable us to be an unstoppable force. The personal experiences and values they offer cultivate an environment in which determination and creativity helps ensure our continued success. I am extremely honored to have the privilege to lead and serve with these extraordinary young men and women.”
Approximately 300 men and women serve aboard the ship. Their jobs are highly specialized and keep each part of the destroyer running smoothly. They do everything from maintaining gas turbine engines and operating the highly sophisticated Aegis weapons system to driving the ship and operating small boats.
“The best thing about serving here is I have the ability to work with the crew on a personal level and try to influence positive change,” said Neeper.
Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew. The crew is motivated, and can quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills. Serving aboard a guided missile destroyer instills accountability and toughness and fosters initiative and integrity.
“Serving in the Navy fills me with pride for my country and family,” added Neeper.