COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY, A SAILOR’S JOURNEY
By MC1 Ian Carver,
NR Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Midwest
Chief Gunner’s Mate Daniel Ross II is a Sailor from a different cut of uniform. Ross is a law enforcement officer for the Kent, Wash., police department as well as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve. His desire to serve both community and country is a testament to the kind of man he is. Those who have or continue to serve in either of these worlds understand what it takes, but to know both worlds to the extent Ross does is truly impressive.
Originally from Yakima, Wash., Ross did not originally feel the desire to serve as a law enforcement officer, but he always wanted to serve his country in the military. With every male on both sides of his family having served in either the Army or Marine Corps, he certainly had the pedigree for which to follow such strong military lineage. He remembers being in the basement of his grandmother’s house where she had a photo gallery, or as his grandmother called it, “the Rogue Gallery.” The gallery consisted of the basic training photos of every family member that served in the military. “I grew up seeing that and remember thinking, ‘I want to be on that wall,’” said Ross. During his youth, the wall served as a constant reminder of what he knew he was born to do.
Ross decided to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and make the Marine Corps the branch where he would begin his service. Before Ross was old enough to officially enlist, he spent a year of hanging out at his local recruiting office so he could at least feel like he was starting to be part of something bigger than himself. He mentioned how much he loved to sit in the recruiting office for hours just listening to the Marine recruiters tell service stories and joke around. After a long year of waiting, the day had finally arrived for which he was old enough to officially enlist. So, at age 17 and freshly graduated from high school he enlisted in the Marine Corps and soon after headed out to basic training. He excelled in the Marines, eventually working up to the rank of sergeant and becoming a scout sniper. He absolutely loved being a Marine and serving his country, he knew he was where he was always meant to be. However, family commitments required him to cut his planned Marine career short. After nine years, Ross honorably separated from the Marines to begin the next chapter of his life. “The only thing that was strong enough to take me away from the Marines was the needs of my family,” Ross said.
Not long after separating, Ross found himself trying to decide what his future career path should be. At the time, Ross often thought to himself, “What am I going to do? I don’t know how to do anything else. I have been a Marine since I was 17.” A childhood friend from Yakima asked him if he would like to join him for a police ride along. The thought of becoming a law enforcement officer had never crossed Ross’ mind. While he had some apprehension about the career choice, Ross was open-minded and interested enough to join his friend for the ride-along one evening. “I ended up riding along on his graveyard shift and that is all it took,” Ross said. “I was blown away!” The choice was made – he would pursue a career as a law enforcement officer.
While on terminal leave with the Marine Corps, Ross applied for and was subsequently hired by the Yakima County Department of Corrections as a corrections officer during the time he was waiting to be hired by the Yakima City Police Department. Five-and-a-half months later, Ross was accepted for hire to become a Yakima police officer. Six months after departing the Marines, Ross began the next phase of his life, that of serving his community in one of the most challenging and rewarding ways possible.
Ross has continued to serve as a law enforcement officer and has since transferred to the police department in Kent, Washington. Still bitten with the bug to serve his country, Ross enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Gunner’s Mate, a career that has continued to be fruitful as he was selected to be a Chief Petty Officer during the 2021 selection. He is currently assigned to Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MESRON) 11 at Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor in Silverdale, Wash. Ross is currently on one-year orders for MESRON and will head back to work as a law enforcement officer in the fall of 2022 if he does not extend his orders further.
Chief Ross’s exceptional career exploits are only a small part of what sets him apart as a truly inspiring law enforcement officer, Sailor, and human. His Sailor-first mentality for leading those under him is evident while watching him interact with his Sailors, even for a short time. For Ross, his careers come down to a deep love of community and country, a love that spans generations in his family and continues with his son’s recent commitment to the U.S. Navy Reserve.
|SILVERDALE, WA, US