August 21, 2009

Navajo aviation machinist mate

Former firefighter 'makes the birds fly' aboard USS Nimitz

By Jason BegayAlthough fighting fires supplies his life with enough adventure, Ellis said he wanted to get away from the reservation for a while.

"I wanted new experiences, to learn a lot of new things," he said. "Since I joined, I have not stopped learning."

Ellis is an aviation machinist mate. In his own words, he "puts birds in the air."

Ellis repairs jet engines. It's a delicate job that required a year of classes in aviation school--in fact, that's where he's been for most of the time since he enlisted in 2008. It's a good job, he says, "as long as you don't mind turning wrenches every day."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Indians in the Military.

Below:  "Tuba City native Jordan Joe Ellis is currently stationed upon the USS Nimitz, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. A former firefighter on the Navajo reservation, Ellis and his fellow U.S. Navy shipmates left Hawaii on Monday and are headed for Japan. Ellis now works repairing jet engines. He enjoys his new job and the exciting travel." (Courtesy photo)

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