Plank Owner’s Perspective – USS Mississippi (SSN 782)

“I have always been a patriot. I have a lot of pride in my country, what it stands for, and the people who make it up. For me, service in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service is not just a job that happens to be really cool, but it is a great honor.”

Sonar Technician Submarines 1st Class Joshua Bordelon

A plankowner for the future USS Mississippi (SSN 782) and native of the state for which she is named, Sonar Technician 1st Class Joshua Bordelon is a third generation Sailor to serve in the U.S. Navy. His father served in the Submarine force and his grandfather served during the Korean War. A Sailor for more than 13 years, STS1 Bordelon talks about what it means to him to be serving aboard this new submarine. A ship whose pedigree includes a sidewheel frigate that saw action in the Civil War and a World War II battleship that earned eight battle stars.

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“I have often asked myself, ‘What have I done to make the world a better place?’  The answer has always eluded me. Until now. Sometimes we forget to see the forest through all the trees!

USS George C. Marshall

“I joined the Navy in January 1999, and headed to boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. I had a dream of becoming a Submarine warrior like my father before me. From my earliest memories as a child, I have been around submarines. My dad served aboard the USS George C. Marshall and the USS Lewis and Clark. He also commissioned the USS Ohio, and the USS

Tennessee, which is one of the many things we have in common.

“I always found submarines to be fascinating when I was young, and every tour my dad gave me of the boats he served on, may as well have been the Starship Enterprise. I always imagined what it would be like to submerge on one of these great warships. As I grew up, and I moved into the world to make my own life, I decided that I wanted to continue my father’s legacy and sail aboard ships that make way silently, beneath the waves, unseen!

USS Oklahoma City

“I have always been a patriot. I have a lot of pride in my country, what it stands for, and the people who make it up. For me, service in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service is not just a job that happens to be really cool, but it is a great honor! As a third generation sailor, and one of many in a long standing family tradition of military service, I have the utmost respect for all who serve.

PCU Mississippi

My shipmates throughout my service on submarines are my brothers. I put my life on the line for them every day, and they do the same for me. It isn’t possible to quantify level of professionalism and skill these men show on a daily basis and it has truly been an honor serving with every one of them.

It is quite by accident that I found myself lucky enough to be a part of the commissioning crew of the future USS Mississippi. I transferred from the USS Oklahoma City, headed for the USS Alexandria.  However, I was redirected to the boat named for my home state. This is the first boat I have commissioned, and for that boat to be the Mississippi, being commissioned in my hometown seems like such ridiculous odds, which is sometimes hard to believe.

“I believe everything happens for a reason, though, and I am extremely grateful to participate in this monumental milestone in the ship’s life. I have always tried to be a good example and role model for my younger brothers, and my own children. I hope that being part of this special event is no different. Being a good sailor, and a good submariner is not just that. It is about being a great teacher, a great role model, a great father, a patriot, and a great human being. We perform our duty for the benefit of all.”

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