It is Christmas Eve and I am writing to you about Ensign Joshua Watson, since killed at NAS Pensacola during a terrorist attack. His actions speak highly of himself and the institution he graduated from and represented so valiantly. Two of our classmates had the opportunity to meet him at a GLE recently, Ken Shearer and Mike McCarthy. It is our wish to share with everyone their thoughts of him. Please think of Ensign Watson’s family during this holiday season. As written by Ken Shearer:
Recognizing Honor & Courage in our Ranks
Our class first met Joshua Caleb Watson at the Gettysburg Leadership Experience in June 2018, before he was introduced to the world, though posthumously, in December 2019. Participating in the GLE program that our class sponsors, Mike McCarthy and I had the opportunity to meet and engage with him over the two day event. All of the participants embodied the values of integrity, leadership, courage and discipline that we were taught at the Naval Academy. Mike and I were proud to observe and get to meet the leaders of our Navy and Marine Corps of the future. Little did we know that those values would be put to the ultimate test just 18 months later at the Pensacola Naval Air Station for Joshua.
As many of you now know, he was killed in the line of duty on December 6th. What is striking about the day, is that all of us learned the concepts of leadership, selflessness and courage, but we always wonder how we would react when put to the test. There was no question on that day for Joshua. He selflessly sprung into action trying to disarm the gunman, and though being shot 5 times, managed to make it out of the building and warn authorities of the details necessary to bring the incident to a much quicker close. Many more of our military family would have been injured or killed without his quick action.
The class of 1977 would like to recognize his courage, selflessness and commitment above the line of duty with his fellow brother and sisters in arms.