Independence Day- a day typically filled with family, food, fireworks, and fun. While we take the Fourth of July to celebrate our freedom, we must never forget great sacrifices that went into creating this nation, dating all the way back to 1776 when The Declaration of Independence was officially signed. While our forefathers fought to create a nation that upholds life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all, our military works to continue to defend those values and protect our country hundreds of years later. Fairbanks Morse recognizes the importance of the service members maintaining our freedom and safety and strives to make their mission a success every time. That is why we continue to build the most reliable engines for our military, many of which are built and serviced under the direction of veterans.
One of those military veterans is Josh Bigham, former U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. and current Service Director at Fairbanks Morse. After serving 21 years in the U.S. Navy, Josh joined Fairbanks Morse in 2011 and leads a team of approximately 150 team members in providing aftermarket support to Fairbanks Morse customers across the globe. He is responsible for the safety of the service teams and the delivery, quality and training for the service organization, which is comprised of five service centers in the U.S. and Canada.
As the U.S. Navy’s Executive Officer at the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, Josh led a team responsible for regulatory inspections of more than 50 nuclear reactor plants on navy warships and in training facilities for the Department of Energy and the Navy. As the Chief Engineer for the USS Georgia (SSGN 729), Josh directed a team of engineers, supervisors and technicians in nuclear plant operations, training, qualification and maintenance planning on an Ohio class nuclear-powered submarine. He credits his time in the Navy for developing the leadership, teamwork and safety skills that are valued at Fairbanks Morse.
“When you are in a 560-foot long submarine underneath the depths of the ocean, you could find yourself in peril pretty quickly if the people around you weren’t doing their jobs, so you developed a strong and trusting bond from working together,” said Josh. “It really made you count on each other. Because of that trust, you went to sleep knowing that the people after you were going to do the job and they were going to do the job well - your safety depended on it.”
Josh says that when you are doing work that is both vital and complex, it is important to develop an environment and a safety culture where people feel comfortable speaking up.
“In the Navy, if you don’t do the job correctly there could be significant consequences and that’s true with what we do at Fairbanks too,” said Josh. “What our technicians touch are very critical pieces of equipment for our customers, so the desire to do it right and do it right the first time is a strong sentiment at Fairbanks Morse.”
Josh is proud of all that Fairbanks Morse does to support their communities and the military. By overseeing the service of engines that provide propulsion and power for mission-critical warships and primary and backup power for hospitals and nuclear plants, he knows that the reliability of the engines Fairbanks Morse provides is essential to every customer.
“What I love about Fairbanks Morse is that it gives me, and other veterans, the opportunity to continue to serve the military in a unique way,” said Josh.
When reflecting on what Independence Day means to him, Josh highlighted the importance of remembering our troops and taking time to remember all the sacrifices that have been made to ensure our freedom.
“Protecting our homeland and our freedoms are critical to our way of life and Independence Day reminds us of that,” said Josh. “The day reminds you of the commitment to something higher than yourself that you make as a serviceman and it means a lot to me.”