Local Sailor Makes Waves in the U.S. Navy


In a proud moment for the Ringgold community, Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Mcafee, a local graduate from Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School, is making significant strides in his career as a U.S. Navy servicemember. Mcafee is currently stationed at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, recognized as the world’s largest diving facility.

The journey began for Mcafee after his graduation from high school in 2021. A year ago, he made the decision to join the Navy, inspired by a long-standing family tradition of military service dating back to World War I. Despite his background in college baseball, Mcafee sought a more meaningful way to contribute to his family, friends, and country.

Mcafee, now serving as a builder in the Navy, credits his upbringing in Ringgold for instilling in him the essential skills and values crucial for success in the military. “Growing up playing team sports, I learned characteristics and traits that I use every day in the Navy,” remarked Mcafee, citing camaraderie, perseverance, discipline, and communication as some of the key attributes.

The Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, where Mcafee is stationed, sees over 1,200 students annually from various branches of the military. These students undergo training for roles such as submarine SCUBA, U.S. Navy deep-sea divers, Seabee underwater construction divers, joint service diving officers, and explosive ordnance disposal officers.

Commander Troy Lawson, the commanding officer at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, spoke highly of the dedicated students, emphasizing their role in shaping the future of Navy Diver and Explosive Ordnance Disposal communities.

Mcafee, reflecting on his service, stressed the importance of the Navy in national defense. “The Navy contributes to national defense by being a show of force,” he stated. “We are present all around the world, which helps our allies feel safe and keeps our adversaries in check.”

Highlighting the critical role of the Navy in global commerce and internet security, Mcafee underscored the direct link between a strong Navy and the prosperity of the United States.

As Mcafee continues to train and carry out missions, he finds pride and accomplishment in serving his country. “Serving in the Navy gives me a lot of pride and makes me feel accomplished because I know I am doing a job that contributes to the ideals this country was built on,” expressed Mcafee.

Acknowledging the support of his family, Mcafee expressed gratitude to his parents, Michelle and Jerry, and his grandparents, Peggy and Eddy, for their unwavering support throughout his 21 years of life.

In the pursuit of his Navy career, Mcafee looks forward to achieving personal and professional milestones, with the ultimate goal of becoming a great father and husband. The Navy, he believes, is instrumental in shaping him into the man he aspires to be for his future family.

The Ringgold community celebrates Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Mcafee’s commitment to service and wishes him continued success in his naval career.