P’burg native earns Navy’s highest enlisted rank, among several from Lehigh Valley serving

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier arrives Oct. 2, 2017, in Hong Kong. The U.S. Navy in 2018 has been highlighting sailors from the Lehigh Valley region with the release of photos and notes on their assignments at home and abroad. Fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve in the military, an all-volunteer force since 1973.

The U.S. Navy in 2018 has been highlighting several residents from the Lehigh Valley region serving their country . Their stories come via the Navy Office of Community Outreach, tasked with traveling the globe to bring home updates on sailors from around the United States.

This is a look at some of them, starting with a Phillipsburg native who earned the Navy’s highest enlisted rank. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Joe Boggio Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Luke Doddy was pinned by his sons Cole, 12, and Ethan, 14, during a master chief pinning ceremony May 22, 2018, aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

The ship was in port in Norfolk, Virginia, conducting routine training exercises to maintain carrier readiness, the Navy said at the time.

Doddy is a 1988 graduate of Phillipsburg Catholic High School. He and his wife, Jeania, have been married 15 years. U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Gary Ward A 2011 Freedom High School is helping to keep some of the Navy’s most specialized fighters fit for duty.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Catelo is a hospital corpsman working with the Naval Branch Health Clinic Fallon stationed aboard Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. He is responsible for managing medical staff, handling X-rays and assisting with radiation health.

Naval Air Station Fallon, in Nevada’s high desert, is home to the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center and its Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program, popularly known as “Top Gun.”

“Nowhere in the world does the Navy have the ability to train as we do in NAS Fallon,” the air station’s commanding officer, Capt. David Halloran, said in a statement. “The Navy specifically chose NAS Fallon as the location for Top Gun and the Naval Special Warfare Tactical Ground Mobility Training Center because of the desert climate, mountainous terrain and sophisticated ranges available in northern Nevada. Every Carrier Air Wing and Navy SEAL Team is required to receive the essential training provided here prior to being deployed in theater.” An F-14A Tomcat flies over burning Kuwaiti oil wells during Operation Desert Storm. This is the aircraft that co-starred with Tom Cruise in “Top Gun,” the 1986 blockbuster about Navy fighter jet pilots’ training. Catelo’s uncle served in the Navy, and Catelo was named Sailor of the Year in 2017 at Naval Hospital Lemoore in California, according to the Navy outreach office.

“Prior to joining the Navy I was looking for a new goal,” the Northampton County native said. “I knew I wanted to travel and see new places and was always interested in working in the medical field. Joining the Navy became an option and I’m glad I seized the opportunity.

“It’s an […]

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