Petty Officer 2nd Class Aidan Harding, a native of Saint Albans, is serving aboard U.S.S. Jason Dunham, a U.S. Navy warship, operating out of Mayport, Florida.

Harding, a 2019 graduate of Nokomis Regional High School, joined the Navy four years ago.

Aidan Harding Submitted photo

“Serving is in my family’s history,” said Harding, according to a news release from Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joe Rullo, Navy Office of Community Outreach. “My father, uncle and grandfather all served in the military.”

Today, Harding relies upon skills and values similar to those found in Saint Albans to succeed in the military.

“I learned that hard work will take you far in life,” said Harding. “Having a good work ethic seems to have benefited me in the Navy.”

These lessons have helped Harding while serving in the Navy.


Jason Dunham is a guided-missile destroyer that provides a wide range of warfighting capabilities. The destroyer is a multi-mission ship that can operate independently or as part of a larger group of ships at sea. The ship is equipped with tomahawk missiles, torpedoes, guns and a phalanx close-in weapons system.

More than 300 sailors serve aboard Jason Dunham. Their jobs are highly specialized, requiring both dedication and skill. The jobs range from maintaining engines to handling weaponry along with a multitude of other assignments that keep the ship mission-ready at all times, according to Navy officials.

With 90% 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.”



Check out other upcoming area events!

Comments are not available on this story.