La Shun Mosley
Veteran | 4 Years in the Navy
Branch, Rank, Years of service?
Navy, E-4, 4 years of service.
What did you do in the service?
My rate in the Navy was PR, or Aircrew Survival Equipment-men. I tested the purity of oxygen for the fighter pilots. If pilots can’t breathe, they can’t fly. Besides the duties of my main job, while enlisted, I was the hazmat POIC, tools POIC, oxygen shop WCS, and I was the divisional mentorship program POIC. POIC is ‘petty officer in charge,’ WCS is ‘work center supervisor,’ and the Navy has divisions rather than platoons. I went on two deployments and was stationed at six different commands during my short time in. This was due to a special, one-time ‘hull swap,’ that took place for the first and only time in Naval history between 3 aircraft carriers. My other commands included PR ‘A’ school training, PR ‘C’ school training, and boot camp. I was honorably discharged from military service in December of 2017 and I earned all my incentives upon service completion. I also earned my good conduct medal, air-warfare and surface warfare pins, and I was the only sailor to meet maximum rate qualifications within my work center. I was dedicated to my service, my ship, and my shipmates.
What was the biggest reason that led you to join the military?
My grandfather, Joe Mosley JR., was my ultimate inspiration to enlist. He was enlisted in the Army until he retired. His honorable service has brought many opportunities to our family. Inscribed with his will, wits, and ways, I knew I was destined for greatness following the path he paved while seeking to begin my own journey.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in the military?
The biggest lesson I learned in the military was to value of the strength of my resiliency. Having faced and triumphed many challenges in my young life, I had to face my biggest fear in boot camp. As a Black kid from Colorado who knew basketball better than anything, I dreaded the time I had to take the swim test. A prerequisite to graduate Navy boot camp, I was determined to pass. It happened in the third phase of training, about five weeks in. We were marched as a division down to the Olympic-sized pool located in the water survival educational facility. It took me 11 tries to pass, but I never gave up. I went back to the facility every day until I was able to pass the swimming test. After, I felt on top of the world! Passing the test, gave me realization that although I would often have things and people against me in life, the strength of being resilient and determined is unparalleled by any challenge. From that moment, I learned to believe in myself. I found value, strength, and resiliency all in one place; me.
Has the military made you a better person?
I believe the military has made me an exceptional person. My military experience, has contributed to my understanding of the world. I had the opportunity to see things, cultures, places, and people that I would’ve only seen on television, had I never joined. I truly broadened my horizons and broke out of a bias perspective. Doing so has enabled me to grow as a person, be humble, and develop better character.
What area of your life has the military helped you grow the most in?
The military allowed me to grow most with my education. I know how to work machines I would’ve never known existed had I not enlisted. I had the opportunity to earn my degree, for free. Being a kid from Park Hill, no one talked to us about college opportunities, trade school, or any form of education advancement. The military gave me opportunity to grow and expand my education by attending college and giving me life skills, only experience can teach you.
What is your perspective of patriotism?
My perspective of patriotism, is that within the devotion to serve, represent, and support one’s country, there should be the same devotion to treating the people of one’s country, despite their differences, with the same devotion, service, and representation. The fidelity too treating people kind and fair, should be parallel to the fidelity of supporting one’s country. The example we set determines the kind of world we will leave for subsequent generations
What was your experience transitioning from active duty to civilian life?
My transition back to civilian life was extremely challenging. It was one of those points in my life that I had to reiterate to myself the value of self-love, strength, and resiliency. With my educational endeavors, all was well. I made the deans list, and was playing basketball. It was in my personal and professional life that I found myself greatly troubled. I went through a very challenging time where I lost myself and almost my life. Thankfully, my family was there to pick me up when I was at my lowest.
What do you do, post active duty?
These days, I am a Residential Counselor II with the Mental Health Center of Denver. I was an intern there before being hired full-time. My ultimate goal is to become a homicide detective. I have always been an analytical person, seeking to help others, and solve problems. I feel that career path will align well with the strengths that I have.
What advice would you give to others transitioning into civilian life?
I would tell those transitioning to not be afraid. There is life after the military. I would encourage them to use their benefits and resources at the VA or anywhere that helps transitioning service members. I would encourage them to give feedback to those supplying the resources and services to be better equipped to understand how they can be better at serving the modern veteran.
What are things that people should consider before they decide to serve their country?
I would encourage people to consider what it really means to serve. No one will ever have life completely figured out, but to go anywhere with no plan is simply a recipe for disaster! I was blessed to have my grandfather and a support system to help me with the enlistment process. I wasn’t handed any job with such a metamorphic contract. I elected to do something I enjoyed, that gave me purpose, and more opportunities. When enlisting, just remain open minded and flexible.