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Like Father, Like Son

23 June 2022

From Petty Officer 3rd Class Novalee Manzella, USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN— As a young man, Lt. Jerry Dome joined the Navy as a Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear), to take care of his wife, pregnant with their first child. Fourteen and a half years later, he is the acting reactor mechanical officer aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77).

“I was initially looking to join the Army,” said Jerry. “They weren’t in and the Nuke recruiter was. My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was pregnant so the money thing was a boon.”

That son grew up to be Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) 2nd Class Devon Dome, who now works in George H.W. Bush’s reactor propulsion division.
“It was weird, it was really weird,” said Devon. “I was scared I would be sent to a different ship. I had been here for a year and a half and already made my roots, but even after that was all cleared up it is still a weird feeling having him here.”

Weird didn’t begin to cover the feelings shared by this father and son duo.

“At first it was a little weird,” said Jerry. “I was under the impression that we couldn’t do that. Normally family isn’t supposed to be in the same department, but because of certain circumstances I am now in the same department as Devon.”

There are seven divisions in the reactor department; controls, electrical, mechanical, laboratories, axillaries, propulsion, and training.

“My dad isn’t in my direct chain of command, but he does make decisions that can directly impact my division,” said Devon. “Because of our relationship he can’t put me up for an award or use his rank to protect me from any trouble I could get in to. I wouldn’t want him to.”

As close as they are outside of work, both Domes made it perfectly clear that the moment work is involved they hold a strictly professional relationship.

“Normally I don’t interact with him because his job is standing watch and doing maintenance,” said Jerry. “My job is the overarching monitoring of reactor maintenance to make sure the availabilities go well.”

On the rare occasion they interact they call each other by the appropriate military titles.

“Once I slipped up and called him Dad,” said Devon. “He corrected me immediately. It was awkward.”

Even in the military there are acceptable forms of more relaxed interactions.

“The random off-the-clock office visits are always fun because he comes to mess with me,” said Devon. “We also jokingly bicker with each other.”

Professionalism leaves plenty of room for pride, and Jerry has no shortage of pride for his son.

“There have been several occasions where he has been the go-to if something bad happens,” said Jerry. “There have been several times he has done something and I just think about how he is keeping our name proud.”

As a former Machinist’s Mate (Nuclear) himself, Jerry was exceptionally proud when Devon enlisted four years ago.

“A lot of my friends asked how I could let him be a Nuke,” said Jerry. “A. He is an adult, I don’t let him do anything, and B. Becoming a Nuke is better than any college. Even if you get out after your first tour, you can still step in to some really nice paying jobs where being a former Nuke would give a distinct advantage over people that went to college.”

Devon decided to join the Navy in the Nuclear field even though he was accepted in to a college.

“My wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, was pregnant with our firstborn,” said Devon. “My Dad who was in the Navy his whole life was able to provide a good life for me and I wanted to do the same for my kids.”

George H.W. Bush provides the national command authority flexible, tailorable warfighting capability as the flagship of a carrier strike group that maintains maritime stability and security to ensure access, deter aggression and defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is underway completing a certification exercise to increase U.S. and allied interoperability and warfighting capability before a future deployment.

The George H.W. Bush CSG is an integrated combat weapons system that delivers superior combat capability to deter, and if necessary, defeat America’s adversaries in support of national security. It achieves its mission by projecting the combined power of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, Destroyer Squadron 26, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and its Information Warfare Commander.

For more information about George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, head to Facebook (www.facebook.com/csg10) and (www.facebook.com/ussgeorgehwbush). Instagram (www.instagram.com/ghwbcvn77). LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/carrier-strike-group-ten) and (www.linkedin.com/uss-george-h-w-bush-cvn77).

 

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