Tuesday, December 06, 2005
At 8, a young Biloxi, Miss. native knew exactly what he wanted to be when he grew up. He couldn’t really place a finger on why, but he knew that military service was the place for him.
Petty Officer 1st Class Rodney Love, leading petty officer for the Air Traffic Control tower, Marine Corps Air Facility, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.Today, 23 years later, and 12 years of sea service behind him, Petty Officer 1st Class Rodney H. Love is not only living the life he always knew he wanted to live, he is doing it in such a way as to garner recognition for achievements in his field. Just recently, Love was selected as Shore Sailor of the Year for Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. “I just always had a drive to join the military,” said Love. “I saw the military as a group of people who got to be a part of the shaping of history. I wanted to be one of those people. I wanted to be more than just the average Joe. When the Navy recruiter pitched his deal, I was sold before he started talking.” Love is the leading petty officer for the Air Traffic Control tower, Marine Corps Air Facility. Known around the shop as the “go-to-guy.” Love’s achievements won him the honor of being chosen as Sailor of the Quarter earlier in the year. “As I’ve come up through the ranks, I’ve learned to lead by example, and I always try to present myself in a professional way, while on and off duty,” said Love. “The military molds people in a certain way, and that is what I joined for — to be cast in that mold, and maybe one day to become the mold.” According to Love, his decision to join the military didn’t surprise his parents much, and both of Love’s parents were happy to see him take his life in a positive direction. Since joining the Navy, Love has served at sea and ashore, and though his career field has had him on shore duty, his true passion is the sea. “If all goes well, I hope to get stationed aboard ship in Japan,” said Love. “I hope to make my next rank soon, and hopefully get a chance to deploy to the Gulf.” In his free time, Love enjoys his hobby of photography and travels around the island taking a variety of landscape photographs. “I just got into photography a couple years ago, but I really enjoy being stationed in a place like Hawaii because it allows me to practice and enjoy my hobby.” In December, Love will go to Norfolk, Va., where he will vie for the title of West Coast Shore Sailor of the Year, competing against the Shore Sailor of the Year from a shore command in Washington State. If selected, Love will then move on to compete against Shore Sailors of the Year from around the fleet for the top slot as the Navy’s Shore Sailor of the Year 2005.