Soldier re-enlists on same ship grandfather served on

| November 18, 2016 | 0 Comments
Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, recites the oath of enlistment administered by Cpt. Joseph Cho, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th MI Bde., during a reenlistment ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, Ford Island, Hawaii, 8 Nov. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Blaine Courtway, Company A, 205th MI Bn. Reenlistment NCO)

Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, recites the oath of enlistment administered by Cpt. Joseph Cho, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th MI Bde., during a reenlistment ceremony aboard the USS Missouri, Ford Island, Hawaii, 8 Nov. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Blaine Courtway, Company A, 205th MI Bn. Reenlistment NCO)

A young Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, is held by his grandfather the late John A. Davidson, from San Deigo, Ca., a retired Master Chief Boatswain's, aboard the USS Missouri. (Photo by Tammy Austin)

A young Spc. Michael Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, human intelligence collector, Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, is held by his grandfather the late John A. Davidson, from San Deigo, Ca., a retired Master Chief Boatswain’s, aboard the USS Missouri. (Photo by Tammy Austin)

Sgt. Shan’Draya Rutherford &
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas G. Collins
500th Military Intelligence Brigade

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Spc. Michael Austin, native of Harker Heights, Texas, a human intelligence collector assigned to Company C, 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade, re-enlisted aboard the USS Missouri, during a ceremony held at Ford Island, Nov. 8.

Austin, whose late grandfather was retired Navy Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate John A. Davidson – he had first served aboard the battleship USS Missouri in 1946 – wanted his first re-enlistment in the Army to be special.

Tammy Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, Mother of Spc. Austin., and BMCM John A. Davidson, from San Degio, Ca., pose for a picture following an official naval ceremony and tour of the USS Missouri Surrender Deck. (Courtesy photo)

Tammy Austin, from Harker Heights, Texas, Mother of Spc. Austin., and BMCM John A. Davidson, from San Degio, Ca., pose for a picture following an official naval ceremony and tour of the USS Missouri Surrender Deck. (Courtesy photo)

Austin, who had heard many stories about his grandfather, has a picture of himself and Davidson aboard the “Mighty Mo” from when Austin was a child, but this re-enlistment marked sharing a piece of history with his grandfather.

Austin said, “Re-enlisting aboard the same battleship my grandfather maintained and served is an honor and means a lot to me.”

“I could see that he was getting quite emotional during his speech,” said Capt. Joseph Cho, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 500th MI Bde., who administered the oath of re-enlistment. “It meant that much to him.”

His grandfather’s job in the Navy as a boatswain’s mate was to train, supervise personnel, maintenance and upkeep of the ship, to include lifeboat inspections and handling deck equipment.

In addition to serving on the Mighty Mo as a boatswain’s mate, Davidson held his retirement ceremony onboard the battleship in 1988.

“For Spc. Austin to ask me to administer the re-enlistment oath at USS Missouri, with so much history and personal ties, it was an absolute honor and a privilege,” expressed Cho. “Standing inside the ship with him, and others who came to congratulate him, knowing we were standing on the same spot where his grandfather had served and then had a retirement ceremony on, it was completely surreal.”

BMCM John A. Davidson, from San Diego, Ca., stands tall with his company. (Courtesy photo)

BMCM John A. Davidson, from San Diego, Ca., stands tall with his company. (Courtesy photo)

Austin’s grandfather was not among those who were congratulating him; Davidson passed away in April of 2001.

The specialist hopes his next duty assignment is Camp Zama, Japan. It sits less than 20 miles from Tokyo Bay, where representatives of the Allied and Axis powers met and signed the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri, Sept. 2, 1945.

“He is a hard worker and someone you can totally depend on. But above all, he does his job with a smile on his face,” said Cho. “He genuinely cares for the well-being of others, and I have no doubt that he will make a great noncommissioned officer in the near future.”

(Editor’s note: Rutherford is the 205th MI Bn. Retention NCO. Collins is the 500th MI PAO. ) 

 

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