Petty Officer 2nd Class Josiah Hagemeier and Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Hagemeier both serve as naval aircrewman operators. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patricia Rodriguez)

Two Wentzville, Missouri natives are serving with the U.S. Navy’s cutting-edge maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft squadron in Jacksonville, Florida.

“My older brother joined the Navy, and I saw what he was doing,” said Joel. “It inspired me to join, too.”

The brothers serve with Patrol Squadron Five, a high-tech maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadron tasked with monitoring the world’s oceans in the state-of-the-art P-8A “Poseidon.”

Growing up in Wentzville, both brothers attended Holt High School.

When asked about the values in Wentzville that are similar to those found in the Navy, Joel replied, “I learned the importance of hard work, because hard work never goes unnoticed.”

Josiah added, “The biggest life lesson I learned is that you don’t know until you try. Even if you don’t know how to do something, give it a shot, and you can probably figure it out.”

These lessons have helped both Hagemeier brothers while serving in the Navy supporting the P-8 Poseidon mission.

The P-8 Poseidon mission is to conduct maritime patrol and reconnaissance as well as long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and intelligence gathering missions. They deploy around the globe to monitor the world’s oceans wherever they are needed.

The P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C “Orion”. According to Navy officials, leveraging the experience and technology of the successful P-3C “Orion” with the needs of the fleet, the P-8A is designed to be combat-capable, and to improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Serving in the Navy means sailors are part of a world that is taking on new importance in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

Josiah noted that, “The U.S. Navy deters threats around the world, because we have a presence that represents the United States.”

“Our squadron provides maritime patrol showing presence around the world,” said Joel.

With more than 90 percent of all trade traveling by sea, and 95 percent of the world’s international phone and internet traffic carried through fiber optic cables lying on the ocean floor, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity and security of the United States is directly linked to a strong and ready Navy.

According to Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday, four priorities will focus efforts on sailors, readiness, capabilities, and capacity.

“For 245 years, in both calm and rough waters, our Navy has stood the watch to protect the homeland, preserve freedom of the seas, and defend our way of life,” said Gilday. “The decisions and investments we make this decade will set the maritime balance of power for the rest of this century. We can accept nothing less than success.”

There are many accomplishments that come with military service, and Joel is most proud of earning the rank of Petty Officer in the Navy.

“I’m proud to have this responsibility,” said Joel.

Josiah is most proud earning his aircrew qualifications.

“It took three years of school and training that culminated in an evaluation of what I learned,” said Josiah. “I had an extreme sense of pride knowing that I was following the footsteps of those who had gone before me.”

As sailors continue to train, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.

“Doing my duty means I get to serve my country,” said Joel. “I’ve always felt an obligation to give back for the freedom we have living in this country.”

“Serving in the Navy means I play a daily part in something much larger than myself,” added Josiah. “Even though I play a small part, I know what I do is important.”

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