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Growing Up On The Sea
by U.S. Navy MC3 Isaak Martinez
November 1, 2021

Sailors sometimes join the Navy as a tradition or to find new experiences. They may have prior enlisted family or friends, or not come from a military background whatsoever.

In the case of Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey, his father’s 20-plus years of naval experience reflected onto him in the best of ways.

October 5, 2021 - Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during flight operations. Essex and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Isaak Martinez)
October 5, 2021 - Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey on the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) during flight operations. Essex and the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Isaak Martinez)

Retired Chief Warrant Officer Troy Massey enlisted in February of 1994 as an operations specialist and rose through the ranks as a chief petty officer before being commissioned as a chief warrant officer in 2008. In 2002, Jordan Massey, his second son, was born and would come to learn and grow fond of his father’s ever-growing career and follow in his footsteps.

“Growing up, I was very close with my father,” explained Massey, “So, I understood what was going on with him more and that has helped shape me to the person I am today in the Navy. I expected a lot of what is happening to me now in my career, and my dad’s job gave me a good foundation of who I am today in regards to position and overall expectations.”

Massey explained he understood the Navy lifestyle from his fathers multiple deployments. “The main thing I took away was to always be respectful. Especially when my dad was gone, I was feeling alone a lot of the time, but knowing it was not permanent and that it only lasted six or seven months. Once he was back, I knew he would be all in. He made me realize the things I might be going through aren’t permanent.”

Further understanding his father’s career, Massey is still deciding what to do with his own. “I’m asking myself if I really want to do this since it is my first deployment. But if I stay in [the military], my goal is to beat my dad. My dad has 20-plus years in the Navy, and I joke to him about it all the time that I will do better than he did, but I really have a long way to go.”

With the teachings of his father, Massey saw what attributes his father exhibited the most ... how successful and how caring he is.

The Massey family reunites after now retired Chief Warrant Officer Troy Massey's returns from a deployment on August 15, 2004.  (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey)
The Massey family reunites after now retired Chief Warrant Officer Troy Massey's returns from a deployment on August 15, 2004.  (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey)

"He takes what he has learned and gives it to me knowing I’m in the same position he was. Doing that shows that he cares about me and makes me feel like he wants me to do better. I’ve taken a lot of his advice, and it’s really helped me the past six-and-a-half months. I think I’ve come a long way with my qualifications and knowing what an operations specialist does, and I have my dad to thank for it all,” Jordan Massey explains proudly.

“I could not have done it without him. Joining the Navy was one of the hardest things I have done leaving so much behind back home. Without his support, knowledge and motivation, there was no way I could do it all. If he was here, on the boat, I would tell him, ‘thank you.’”

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