I went from farming sweet potatoes in Dunn, North Carolina to constructing military bases, shelters, and hospitals around the world for America’s Navy. AMA.
Hello! My name is Michael Ivey and I’m a Sailor in the United States Navy.
I grew up in a farming community in Dunn, North Carolina where life was comfortable, but uneventful. When I was 19, I read a line from the Navy’s recruiting campaign that spoke to me: “If someone wrote a book about your life, would anyone want to read it?”
I realized I wanted to make a difference in the world, so I enlisted as an Equipment Operator (Seabee) and left ten days later. In my career, I’ve built ballistic fish tanks in Iraq, forward operating bases in Afghanistan, and hospital waiting areas in Jamaica. My job is basically to keep people safe and make sure my fellow Sailors get home to their families.
Joining the Navy transformed my life into a story worth telling. Ask me anything.
This was originally intended to run from 1000-1100 but you guys kept the questions coming. Some of those questions were tough, some of them made me smile, more than a few made me chuckle out loud. I want to personally thank every single one of you that participated in this AMA and I hope that I was able to answer a few questions in turn. If there are any others that I failed to get to, you can always find me over on r/Navy or occasionally on r/DadJokes (and also not using an official Navy handle). I want to close with a thought that you can take for what it is worth to you...
Every day of our lives we are afforded opportunities to be a force for good in the lives of others. We can enrich each other. We can raise each other up. We can help. We can heal. We can teach. We can learn... or we can do nothing. There is nothing wrong with living on a sweet potato farm in the middle of nowhere if that is what makes you happy and completes you as a person, but for me I needed something more. The Navy gave me that chance and my only regret thus far is that I did not dive onto that opportunity sooner. It is my personal belief that each of us is guilty of all the good we have never done. The Navy simply allowed me to do more.