SOUTH CHINA SEA (NNS) – An alumni of Winter Haven High School, in Winter Haven, Florida, is serving aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56).
Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua J. Soto, a yeoman aboard the forward-deployed ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer and the second commissioned vessel of its name. The destroyer was named in honor of the naval service of both John S. McCain Sr. and his son John S. McCain Jr. whom both obtained the rank of admiral in the Navy.
Measuring 505 feet long, with a draft of 30.5 feet, and a beam reaching 67 feet, and with a complement of more than 260 Sailors, McCain is forward-deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, and currently underway on a routine patrol of the South China Sea.
“I have been in the Navy for more than two years,” said Soto. “I joined because of the ample opportunities and a chance to excel all while serving my country.”
Soto says he could easily stick to his job, but that wouldn’t be his style. He makes sure to help out as much as possible around the ship.
“My primary duties as a Yeoman for the ship include helping Sailors with travel, legal Yeoman, work center supervisor, repair parts Petty Officer, command sponsorship coordinator, friends and family day cruise coordinator, and Master Helmsman,” said Soto.
“Outside of that, I am also the secretary for the Morale, Welfare, and Morale program, vice president of the ship’s Coalition of Sailors Against De
structive Decisions, the assistant mail manager and a command pass coordinator.”
With all Soto has accomplished, including earning his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification, it is no wonder McCain leadership recognized him as the Junior Sailor of the Year (JSOY) for the fiscal year of 2016.
“My desire to always volunteer, qualifying in multiple certifications, being involved in every command collateral allowed, and becoming a subject matter expert in my rate helped me win JSOY,” said Soto.
As for what the future holds for Soto, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he obtains his future goal of being commissioned as an unrestricted line officer in the United States Navy.
McCain, assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, is on patrol in the South China Sea
supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.