MILTON — Ens. Jordan Davis, a Pace High School graduate, earned his Wings of Gold May 10 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.
Growing up in a Navy family, Davis lived in Jacksonville, Pensacola, Seattle, Key West and Virginia Beach before finally settling in Pace.
When Davis was two, his mother remarried. Lamar Bradley, a young aviation boatswain’s mate (Handling), rose through the ranks to become a chief petty officer. He then went on to become a limited duty officer and retired as a lieutenant commander in 2009.
“We moved here January 2007, and it’s been the place I’ve known the longest,” Davis said.
While Davis said his mother was his biggest influence, his stepdad’s hints and advice were what led him to join the Navy. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland.
“I was considering maybe serving in the United States Marine Corps or maybe special ops (operations), but aviation was always at the top of the list.”
At the academy, Davis was the captain of the boxing team as a two-time brigade champion. He was national champion his senior year and commissioned in May 2017 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Davis reported to Aviation Preflight Indoctrination at Naval Air Station Pensacola for academic and physiological training. He then reported to NAS Whiting Field to fly the T-6B Texan with Training Squadron Six (VT-6) for primary flight training.
Davis selected helicopters, or rotary, for his advanced training at Whiting's South airfield, flying the TH-57 Sea Ranger with Helicopter Training Squadron Eighteen (HT-18).
Reflecting about his favorite parts of flight school, Davis said, “Every day you get to do something new and exciting ... You could be flying the same flight, but there are so many things that make it different — just different weather or a different instructor ... (You get) a real sense of satisfaction, especially at the end of the week when you look back and see what you’ve accomplished.”
His advice for other potential pilots is, “Know what you’re getting into. Pilots always try and make everything look easy. It’s a lot of work but we always try and look cool.”
For younger Pace residents, he recommended “Do math. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is important.”
His mother, Sylvia Bradley, pinned on his wings of gold. He was joined on stage by friends and family including retired Lt. Commander Lamar Bradley, U.S. Navy; Keith Davis, Jennifer Davis, Nicholas Davis; retired Col. Christopher Holzworth, U.S.Marine Corps; Shelly Holzworth, Christopher Holzworth, and Grayson Holzworth.
Davis will soon fly the MH-60R Sea Hawk at NAS San Diego.
“I’ve visited but never lived in San Diego. It feels like I’ve lived around the same places for the past 12 years, so I’m looking forward to someplace new.”