Navy Ensign Josh A. Cochran, son of Tim Cochran and Gina Cochran of Marietta, received one of the Navy's highest honors on Sept. 21. Ensign Cochran received the Navy's coveted "Wings of Gold" from Rear Admiral Brian C. Prindle and Captain Mark Stevens, commanding officer of Patrol Squadron 30 in Jacksonville, Fla. The ceremony was held at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
Cochran is a 2002 graduate of Marietta High School, and a 2008 graduate of Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J. He has been on active duty for over eight years, and became a commissioned officer on March 11, 2011.
Upon completion of Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., training for naval flight officers continues at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. Training in Pensacola is designed to mold selected officers into naval aviators. Students are faced with numerous academic challenges, as well as countless hours in aircraft. The curriculum is extremely grueling, and the competition is fierce. Topics covered in the curriculum include aerodynamics, aircraft engineering, meteorology, airborne navigation, and flight safety. After Ensign Cochran successfully completed this training, he selected to fly the P-3 Orion.
The P-3 Orion has been around since the 1960s, and is primarily used as a reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft. The aircraft was used as far back as the Cold War, and has proven to be an invaluable asset in subsequent wars, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ensign Cochran reports for duty with Patrol Squadron 8 in Jacksonville, Fla., in December.