Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Yorktown Native Serves Aboard USS Essex

Operations Specialist Seaman Jordan Massey, from Yorktown, Va., poses for a photo aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), (U.S. Navy photo by MC3 Isaak Martinez)

MILLINGTON (Tenn.) — A Yorktown, Virginia, native is serving aboard USS Essex, a U.S. Navy Wasp class amphibious assault ship.

Seaman Jordan Massey is a 2020 York High School graduate. Today, Massey serves as a Navy operations specialist.
“Being an operations specialist is like being a security guard for the ship but out in the ocean,” said Massey. “We are always looking out for unusual activity, taking care of air threats and providing safe navigation for the ship.”

Massey joined the Navy one year ago for three reasons.

“I joined the Navy to be a part of something bigger than myself and to have a well-paying job at such a young age,” said Massey. “I also wanted to explore the world.”

According to Massey, the values required to succeed in the military are similar to those found in Yorktown.

“Growing up in Yorktown, I met a lot of different people with different personalities and I think that allowed me to interact with everyone here so easily because in the Navy, everyone comes from different backgrounds,” said Massey.

Homeported in San Diego, California, USS Essex is the second ship in the Wasp-class of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and the fifth ship named for Essex County, Massachusetts. Essex was a 1000-ton ironclad river gunboat of the U.S. Army and later U.S. Navy during the American Civil War.

According to Navy officials, amphibious assault ships are designed to deliver U.S. Marines and their equipment where they are needed to support a variety of missions ranging from amphibious assaults to humanitarian relief efforts. Designed to be versatile, the ship has the option of simultaneously using helicopters, Harrier jets, and Landing Craft Air Cushioned, as well as conventional landing craft and assault vehicles in various combinations.

“This is only my first command and the thing I enjoy most is the people are real with me,” said Massey. “They’re always upfront with me and I feel like I can go to almost anyone with anything I need help with.”

Though there are many opportunities for sailors to earn recognition in their command, community and careers, Massey is most proud of graduating from boot camp.

“My boot camp was extended to four months due to medical issues,” said Massey. “Knowing I was going to be there two months longer than expected with COVID[-19] restrictions took a toll on my mind. However, being able to overcome that, graduate and make it to the Fleet was a pretty big accomplishment for me.”

As a member of the U.S. Navy, Massey, as well as other sailors, know they are a part of a service tradition providing unforgettable experiences through leadership development, world affairs and humanitarian assistance. Their efforts will have a lasting effect around the globe and for generations of sailors who will follow.

“Serving in the Navy means doing something bigger than myself and putting others before myself,” added Massey. Nothing means more to me than making sure my friends and family are safe back home. Knowing I’m out here protecting them from possible threats makes me feel a little bit better about having to leave for a couple of months.”

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