By Sgt. Kyle Fisch, USASOC Public AffairsMay 11, 2016
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- There are traditions passed down from generation to generation in families all across the world, and while these can range from farming to large-scale business corporations, for the Travis' it's jumping out of an aircraft, ready to take the fight to the enemy.
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Thomas Travis joined the Army in 1984, he is a jumpmaster and rotary wing advisor for U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command and, in total, has approximately 126 jumps. Thirty-one years later, his son followed in his footsteps.
"Our family's military history goes all the way back to a Norman chief named Travers who crossed the channel with William the Conqueror," Travis said. "In the U.S., our family fought in the Revolution, the war for Texas independence, both sides of the Civil War; and my father and uncle fought in WWII in the Pacific."
"Its part of the family business, there's a long tradition of military in our family, so I'm honored that he decided to take this route," Travis said.
Pvt. Joshua Travis, Tom Travis' son is a parachute rigger on Fort Bragg, who joined the Army in 2015, after deciding that, like his father before him, he too would continue the military legacy of the Travis family.
The elder Travis recalls his son, Josh Travis, expressing an interest in the military at a very young age, he specifically remembers his son telling him; "I want to be in the Army and fly like you do."
"My dad was my inspiration to join the Army, and go to Airborne School, and while I was at Airborne School, he got to jump with me on my second jump," Josh Travis said. "I feel a lot of pride, in being able to jump with my dad, and in him basically passing on the torch to me, so-to-speak."
The opportunity to jump together seemed to almost blur the inherent danger of what they were about to do, however, Tom and Josh Travis are confident in their training and their equipment.
"As I like to say; the parachute wants to open. You have to have a healthy respect for what you are doing, and not get complacent. As I JMPI'ed [Jumpmaster Personnel Inspection (A required procedure, conducted on each jumper, prior to every jump.)] him before the jump, I actually did think; 'wow I am inspecting my son!'" Tom Travis said.
With more than 30 years in the military, Tom Travis says that his time in the Army is just about up, though he's had 'a lot of fun' doing what he loves. He knew that jumping with his son is an opportunity that may be gone someday soon. His son, Josh Travis, shares the sentiment.
"Before I joined the military, I knew jumping with my dad before he retires would possibly be one of the benefits of being stationed here at Bragg, and today it all kind of just kind of came together" the younger Travis said.
Tom Travis states that he has learned a lot during the last 30 years of his military career, and with this experience he plans to prepare his son for a long, successful career in the Army with some words of wisdom.
"Always do the right thing even when no one is watching and learn from both good and bad leadership experiences," Tom Travis said. "Remember that all jobs are important, so give those troops the respect they deserve. Be able to lead and follow."
"I am very proud of my son for choosing this path. I have always tried to guide and advise him, but the decision to join the military should always rest with the individual. A parent should never push their son or daughter into serving," Tom Travis said.
Josh Travis notes that he looks forward to the possibility of one day sharing the same experiences he's had with his father, with his own son or daughter.