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NEWS | July 17, 2023

A living legacy: Re-enlistment aboard the USS Wisconsin

By Capt. Caitlin Sweet 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

Sgt. Michael Wease, a horizontal construction engineer (12N) with the 380th Quartermaster Company re-enlisted on the same battleship his grandfather served on in the 1950s, the USS Wisconsin, to commemorate his family legacy.

En route to being promoted to the rank of staff sergeant, Wease first needed to re-enlist. Having already served in the U.S Army in various components for 12 years, he added another six years onto his service to the nation June 15, 2023, in Norfolk, Virginia.

While his unit was participating in the Quartermaster Liquid Logistics Exercise (QLLEX) a mere 115 miles away at Fort Barfoot, Virginia for their annual training, Wease and his leaders seized the opportunity to make this re-enlistment both epic and meaningful by traveling over four hours round trip to make this dream a reality.

Wease’s grandfather served as a pipe fitter on the USS Wisconsin from 1954-1958. “Walking around on that ship was awesome because I envisioned him walking there and talking with his friends….visualizing that, thinking this was where he would sail around the world. He served his country and now I’m doing part to serve my country as well,” said Wease of the experience.

On the civilian side, Wease works as a police officer with the Louisville Police Department as a patrolman on the city waterfront. Balancing his civilian and military career along with being a father of two young daughters, Maggie (7) and Nora (5), has brought unique challenges where each have been incredibly rewarding. However, none have been more rewarding than seeing his daughters grow up and flourish in their community. In between the trips to the park, listening to music, and dancing, Wease teaches them the importance of serving their community and country. He wants to tell younger generations that:

“This country is here for a reason and has lasted as long as it has because of the people that are willing to make the sacrifices to [ensure] this place stays safe, and everybody can grow up… I’m proud to wear [the American flag] on my shoulder. I’ve signed my name now on a dotted line three times. I will give everything that I have for this country and to this uniform and the people that are serving to the left and right of me.”