I am a fourth generation service member. I can remember back when I was 12 years old visiting my great grandfathers apartment over the summer and seeing a portrait of him in the same service dress blues that I service my country in to this day. Fast forward to the spring of 2014 at the Columbus, GA National Infantry Museum where my father’s dad, a Vietnam veteran, paid me a visit, this in turn became an emotional recollection of memories he still holds dear to his heart, as we strolled the memorial of names of fallen heroes. About ten years prior to that I can recall my mother frantically watching the news, fall of 2003, as I was coming home from another long day of teenage struggles my senior year of high school, praying my step-father, a Command Sergeant Major in Afghanistan, would be calling very soon. It was only natural that I too would join that family tradition by proudly swearing into the United States Navy in the winter of 2015.
So I guess it’s safe to say that it was my destiny to join the military, a calling I had no control over since I had been surrounded by leaders all of my life. My mother served for ten years as well as my biological father, that’s actually where they met. Unfortunately circumstances could not keep them together; however, soon after, she met my step father who ultimately served 29 years infantry before retiring in 2011 and settling in Columbus, GA the very same place he started his honorable career. Three out of my four brothers even took a stab at the military life prior to me, two went Army and the third, who is still serving, is in the Air Force. For the duration of my adolescence, the military dependent life was all I knew and after graduating from high school I was over the constant moving and not being around most of the friends I had made over the years and I was determined to spend all of my college years in one location. Little did I know my desire to travel and meet new people would innately re-emerge just five years later.
Joining the navy was exactly what I needed at the time I needed it. It was a way out of a city I just no longer wanted to be in and catapulted me into a lifestyle I couldn’t even begin to imagine was a way of life people willingly accepted. It wasn’t until I got on board an actual ship that I realized how important of a job each and every sailor on board has. I enlisted as a 28 year old, college educated woman preparing to embark upon the beginning phases of a career where most of my peers would just be fresh out of high school and their parents homes. Whereas I had already received a B.A. in communications, lived with at least 3 friends, and was finally ready to put my bossy persona to work in a productive way. Not to mention it took me four times of going back and forth to the Montgomery MEPS station to retake the ASVAB exam, lose the necessary weight to join, and select an available rate (job) all the while still working fulltime for an auto dealership.
So needless to say when it was finally time for me to take that flight from the Atlanta airport to Chicago, I was super proud of myself for never giving up on the chance to know what it’s like serving for your country. From navigating through our 9 week boot camp without any mishaps all the way up to that very last challenge of battle stations, where we successfully made it through a simulated war scenario acted out on a “sinking ship,” those tears of gratitude I cried during the capping ceremony that followed made it that much more fulfilling. Immediately following boot camp graduation we then started the process of learning our job at Apprentice or “A” school for 2 months, where my career as an operations specialist would begin. Upon completion of A school I spent a month learning an important computer console located in combat information center, considered the nucleus of the ship, and was finally ready to begin my naval career on board the USS KIDD, at the time stationed in San Diego, CA. We have since relocated to the Pacific Northwest and are now stationed in Everett, WA.
So allow me to introduce myself…I am Operations Specialist second class, surface warfare, air warfare, Alise Amos and I am a proud female service member of the United States Navy. I serve my country to defend the rights that our nation’s founding fathers fought so vehemently to protect. My driving force and motivation are my family members who served before me, and to be a trusted role model and leader to those serving after me. We are responsible for the successful operation of a billion dollar war vessel that if we’re lucky, we get to sail on across the world and sharing that experience, those memories, those trials, sleepless days and nights are instances that bond us all for lifetime. The discipline, tolerance, tact, determination and mental strength you have to dig down deep within and pull from within yourself is an accomplishment I don’t believe I would have ever found in any other occupation.
Our Sailor’s Creed
I am a United States Sailor, I will support and defend the constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s navy combat team with honor courage and commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.