PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph Tahsequah, a native of Cache, Oklahoma, is ensuring the Navy stays healthy and mission ready while serving at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth is the U. S. Navy’s oldest, continuously-operating hospital, and since 1830, has served military members and their families.
Tahsequah joined the Navy nearly five years ago. Today, Tahsequah serves as a machinist’s mate.
“I joined the Navy because my Comanche heritage and culture has a warrior tradition,” said Tahsequah. “All my family has served and whenever we return home the tribe throws a pow wow for us, which is a tradition that brings honor for your whole family.”
Growing up in Cache, Tahsequah attended Cache High School and graduated in 2016.
Skills and values similar to those found in Cache are important to succeed in the military.
“I learned hard work growing up in Oklahoma,” said Tahsequah. “It’s a blue collar state with a lot of industrial work and I had some welding and car repair experience before I became a machinist’s mate.”
These lessons have helped Tahsequah while serving in the Navy.
Navy Medicine — comprised of approximately 44,000 highly-trained military and civilian health care professionals — provides enduring expeditionary medical support to the warfighter on, below, and above the sea, and ashore.
“Warfighters are our most important weapon system,” said U.S. Navy Surgeon General Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham. “We prepare and sustain that system. When the warfighter is having their worst day, our high-performing people will be at their best.”
As a member of the Navy, Tahsequah is part of a world-class organization focused on maintaining maritime dominance, strengthening partnerships, increasing competitive warfighting capabilities and sustaining combat-ready forces in support of the National Defense Strategy.
“The seas connect the entire world, so the Navy projects power for global defense and to secure trade,” said Tahsequah.
With 90 percent of global commerce traveling by sea and access to the internet relying on the security of undersea fiber optic cables, Navy officials continue to emphasize that the prosperity of the United States is directly linked to trained sailors and a strong Navy.
“Our mission remains timeless — to provide our fellow citizens with nothing less than the very best Navy: fully combat ready at all times, focused on warfighting excellence, and committed to superior leadership at every single level,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “This is our calling. And I cannot imagine a calling more worthy.”
Tahsequah has many opportunities to achieve accomplishments during military service.
“I say that I grew up in the Navy,” said Tahsequah. “I came in as a teenager who was very much an individual that learned to be part of a team. I matured and learned to make my own way in the world as well as be a leader who takes care of others.”
As Tahsequah and other sailors continue to train and perform missions, they take pride in serving their country in the United States Navy.
“I know what I’m doing protects my family back home and others in the United States,” added Tahsequah. “It’s a feeling that I’m part of something bigger.”