NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- From a young age, children develop role models and emulate those who inspire them. Often, the figure of emulation is a parent; someone who raises them and is responsible for their growth and development into independent, functioning members of society. Many children want to follow in the footsteps of their parents and adopt the career that their mother or father had during their lifetime, and military service is one such career path frequently followed. The solid foundations and experiences born from military service have inspired numerous generations to follow in their elder families footsteps and continue to answer the call to arms.
One such example is Eric Alexander and Erica Alexander-Quow, a father-daughter duo onboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68).
Lt. Cmdr. Eric Alexander, a native of Stuttgart, Arkansas, enlisted in the Navy in 1996 as an aviation boatswain's mate (fuel). He served at various commands and eventually reached the rank of chief petty officer before being commissioned through the limited duty officer program in 2007. Since February 2018, he has been serving as the aircraft handling officer onboard Nimitz.
Erica Alexander-Quow enlisted in the Navy in June 2017 as an intelligence specialist, and has been serving onboard Nimitz since January 2018.
Their respective journeys in the Navy have led them to Nimitz where they serve together.
"It's a unique situation, however I enjoy it. We commute together and I get to mentor her a lot. I train her on shipboard safety and being a better Sailor. Her safety is my biggest concern," said Alexander.
"It's pretty cool. We have a great relationship and it's interesting to be able to work in the same place, even though we are in completely separate departments with different chains of command," said Alexander-Quow. "It's nice to have a watchful eye in the sky, someone who is always looking out for me, even though I try not to involve him much because I don't want to be seen as having an advantage. I try to keep it separate."
Alexander-Quow said she joined the military due to the lessons learned from her father's long and successful career in the Navy.
"Seeing his experience and the benefits from it, and also moving around to so many places was a big inspiration to follow in his footsteps and serve," she said. "I want to eventually outrank him and I would love to do Seaman-to-Admiral and get commissioned one day, but right now I'm taking it day by day so we will see how my career plays out."
The Alexanders are well aware of the importance of separating family from work, and make sure to keep their dynamic as professional as possible.
"At work, it's all business. She see me and she says "Sir", I see her and I say "IS3". I expect her to be on point with her uniform and be respectful at all times, and military bearing is especially important," said Alexander. "I want her to have her own experience and I do my best to stay out of her bubble, and she has a fantastic chain of command who are able to help her with any problems she comes across, but she knows I'm here if she needs me."
"We're good at maintaining that father-daughter relationship at home away from work. Our everyday commute gives us time to unwind and diffuse any problems so we don't have to bring any negativity home," said Alexander-Quow.
Along with being a positive influence career wise, Alexander recognizes the vast importance of being a positive factor in life, in general.
"All parents want their children to have a better life than they had. It's important to me to be a major factor in my kids' lives because that's something I didn't have," he said. "I challenge them to find a goal every day and reach that goal so they can achieve and maximize their full potential."
Although it will not always be easy, this father and daughter are committed to excellence and are more than ready to contribute to the Navy's mission. Given their situation and the opportunity to serve together at the same command, the Alexanders are continuing their tradition and legacy of naval service in their family.
Nimitz is conducting a docking planned incremental availability at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility where the ship is receiving scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from USS Nimitz (CVN 68), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn68/.