Today’s #YOUAREGOVX member profile comes from Shawn, an infantry officer and former Merchant Mariner. Shawn has traveled the world, been a GovX member since 2013, and he advises you to never bitch about the weather and always EMBRACE THE SUCK.
Can you give us a brief look at your service history?
I’m currently serving in the Virginia Army National Guard, and I’ve been in 4 years. I’ve served on an Infantry Brigade Combat Team, and also as a Mechanized Infantry Platoon Leader. Before this, I sailed as a Merchant Mariner for about ten years; my last position was with a Military Sealift Command Contracted vessel, pulling container barges from Jacksonville, FL to GTMO. I was also on a tanker which typically fueled in Navy Base Yokosuka, and discharged in such places as Kwajalein U.S. Army Atoll, Wake Island, Okinawa, and other bases around Japan.
What’s a story you’d like to share?
One time when I was at Fort Benning, it was pouring rain in the middle of July. While lying prone in the ORP, I made the mistake of saying: “Well, at least it can’t rain any harder,” and, wow, was I wrong. Immediately after those words were spoken, it started to pour even more. We had to stack our M4s, and get away due to lightning. When we came back to the rifles, a puddle had developed that actually went up to most of our waists. Don’t ever complain about the weather at Fort Benning.
Also, I can’t leave out having to use the latrine at the Tajikistan FOB. I’ll end that story right there. (Many people know this experience from deployments, though.)
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I love to duck hunt, do paddle sports, spearfish (free-diving or scuba), triathlons, hiking/camping, and motorcycle riding.
What living person do you most admire?
Right now, it’s definitely King Abdullah II of Jordan.
What was your favorite adventure or journey you've taken?
In 2004 I took a trip to South Africa. I enjoyed catching up with old friends, meeting plenty of new ones, and surfing quite a lot at Jeffreys Bay.
Do you have a life motto?
Right now, I aim to share my passions with the kids I plan to have in the future. And also, you have to understand that in order to reach a positive outcome, sometimes we have to suffer through the negative consequences. But just stick with it. Basically, this means EMBRACE THE SUCK!