Mt. Juliet native serves with Navy Forward Deployed Unit

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 4, 2016 at 4:00 PM

SASEBO, Japan – A 2009 Wilson Central High School graduate and Mt. Juliet native currently serves in the U.S. Navy with the forward deployed unit, Naval Beach Unit 7.

Seaman Josh Rowland is a boatswain’s mate serving with the beach group operating forward in Sasebo, Japan.

A Navy boatswain’s mate is responsible for driving a duck boat, which is a Navy vessel capable of operating on land and water.

“I like that I get to work with different people from different branches,” said Rowland. “I don’t like doing just one thing.  I like doing a variety of things.”

Commissioned in August 2012, Naval Beach Unit 7 was formed to combine the three forward deployed naval forces detachments in Japan. The unit functions as the forward deployed naval force responsible for executing the manning, organizing, training, maintaining and equipping of all Naval Beach Unit 1 assets.

“The sailors of Naval Beach Unit 7 never cease to amaze me with the effort they put into their daily work,” said Cmdr. Morris Oxendine, commanding officer of Naval Beach Unit 7. “Their dedication and hard work make me proud to be in command of these sailors.”

According to Navy officials, Naval Beach Unit 7 operates in a high-density, multi-threat environment as the Naval Beach Element of the Forward Deployed Naval Force Amphibious Ready Group.

“Being forward deployed means that we have to be ready to respond to anything on this side of the world, whether that’s humanitarian relief or conflict resolution,” said Rowland.

Challenging living conditions builds strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials said. The unit is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“My family has a military tradition, and I am proud to continue that legacy,” said Rowland.

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