Master Chief Logistics Specialist Tonya McCray always knew there was a chance that her daughter would one day follow in her footsteps, but she never could have guessed how perfect the timing would be.
As the child of two Navy parents, Racquel Mccray is no stranger to military life. Growing up in that environment is exactly what inspired her to pursue a similar path.
“I chose to join because I watched my parents for my entire life,” Racquel said. “They both served, so watching them every day go to work made me actually want to follow in their footsteps, with how successful they were and what they were able to provide for my sister and I.”
Although her parents knew this might happen, they didn’t pressure her into the decision at all. In fact, when she first told them she wanted to join the Navy, Tonya admitted they “didn’t believe her or take her seriously.”
But once they realized just how serious she was, they were 100 percent on board with her choice.
“I was a proud mother,” Tonya said. “It took a while for her to get everything situated to come in, but that was my baby and I was so proud. I shared some pictures with her and I talked about the experience, and she told me that was why she wanted to join the military — to be able to participate in things like that.”
That pride she felt only grew stronger once Racquel officially enlisted. Because she is pursuing the same logistics specialty as her mother, she recently noticed an opportunity for them to work together on the same ship! Some people would prefer not to work with a parent, but Racquel was ecstatic about this rare opportunity.
“I talked to my chain of command, she talked to her chain of command and we thought it could be used as a training opportunity,” Tonya said.
Although Racquel wishes they could have worked together for longer than four weeks, she’s so grateful for the time she had to work with and learn from her mom. She also got to see the level of respect her mom has earned.
“It’s pretty cool walking with her,” Racquel said. “Everyone says, ‘Good morning, master chief,’ and she greets them and I’m just smiling the whole way. I feel like a proud daughter.”
Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Share this story to celebrate their beautiful relationship.
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