Service to one’s own country can be a difficult decision. It’s never easy to put on hold relationships, personal goals or any other ties we may have, to give up our time for something greater than ourselves.
The Laker/Lutz News would like to thank Commander Jason Cummings for his 23 years of service, as he retires from his position with the U.S. Navy.
Because of what is sacrificed, military service forever will be a noble pursuit, no matter the enlistment. When asked what his service meant to him, Cmdr. Cummings simply stated,
Jason Cummings was born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in White Bluff, Tennessee. After graduating from Tennessee Technological University, he was commissioned via Officer Candidate School at Naval Air Station Pensacola in October 2000. He attended the Naval Intelligence Officer Course in Dam Neck, Virginia. He earned his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College Satellite Program in 2018.
Throughout his time in the military, Cmdr. Cummings and his family were stationed in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Japan, Florida, Hawaii and Maryland. While working for the Navy, he also visited many foreign places like Singapore, Thailand, Greece, Italy, England, and Israel.
“I grew up to see so much diversity,” said daughter Laurel Cummings, who is the Sales Assistant at The Laker/Lutz News.
“It gave me a stronger appreciation for people’s individuality and perspective on how important our communities can be. Also, getting to live in a lot of different environments was cool — from rainforests to deserts, I’ve seen a lot!”
Cmdr. Cummings’ first priority has always been his family; it’s what led him to his service in the first place.
“At the time, my first daughter was young and my second was on the way. I was making minimum wage with no insurance. The military was a good place to get benefits. Then, it ended up being my long term career,” said Cmdr. Cummings.
However, no matter what part of the world he was in, he understood that the ties of brotherhood were only temporary – family is eternal. Retirement was his way of coming back home to what truly matters most to him, this time for good. He used the parable of the Ship of Theseus to drive this point home. Overtime, if a ship had each of its components replaced, would the ship still be the same by the end?
“In the military, yes, this would be true. But with family – you can never be replaced,” said Cmdr. Cummings.
Now, as Cummings retires and steps away from his career, he wants to remind anyone who is seeking a long-term career in the military to find and maintain balance.
“Balance the demands of military service with the needs of your family. Their support makes the sacrifice worth it,” said Cummings.
Cmdr. Cummings has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal (three awards) as well as various other personal and unit level awards.
He will enjoy the rest of his retirement at his home in Lutz, spending time with his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their five children: Laurel, Catherine, Heather, Jacob and Thomas.
Published June 01, 2022