By Navy Seaman Michael Prusiecki, USS Nimitz
NAVAL BASE KITSAP-BREMERTON, Wash. -- A Navy father and daughter here say they enjoy their service together aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Eric Alexander, a native of Stuttgart, Arkansas, enlisted in the Navy in 1996 as an aviation boatswain’s mate. He served at various commands and eventually reached the rank of chief petty officer before being commissioned through the limited duty officer program in 2007. Since February, he has been serving as the aircraft handling officer on the Nimitz.
Alexander’s daughter, Petty Officer 3rd Class Erica Alexander-Quow, enlisted in the Navy in June 2017 as an intelligence specialist. She has been serving on the Nimitz since January.
“We commute together and I get to mentor her a lot,” Alexander said of his daughter. “I train her on shipboard safety and being a better sailor. Her safety is my biggest concern.”
Serving alongside her father on the Nimitz is “pretty cool,” Alexander-Quow said.
“We have a great relationship, and it’s interesting to be able to work in the same place, even though we are in completely separate departments with different chains of command,” she said. “It’s nice to have a watchful eye in the sky -- someone who is always looking out for me -- even though I try not to involve him much because I don’t want to be seen as having an advantage. I try to keep it separate.”
Following Dad’s Footsteps
Alexander-Quow said she joined the military due to the lessons learned from her father’s long and successful career in the Navy.
“Seeing his experience and the benefits from it, and also moving around to so many places, was a big inspiration to follow in his footsteps and serve,” she said.
Alexander-Quow said she would like to earn a commission, but for now she’s taking it day by day. “So we will see how my career plays out,” she added.
Both said they try to remain professional at the workplace.
“At work, it’s all business,” Alexander said. “She sees me and she says, ‘Sir.’”
“We’re good at maintaining that father-daughter relationship at home away from work,” Alexander-Quow said. “Our everyday commute gives us time to unwind and diffuse any problems so we don’t have to bring any negativity home.”