GEICO honors SCPO Hopson for keeping sailors and ships safe

NORFOLK, Va., May 16, 2019 – It's Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jack Hopson Jr.'s job to keep sailors safe so that they can do the job of keeping all of us safe.

As a 3M trainer and inspector at Naval Air Forces Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, he's responsible for keeping ships' fire protection equipment in working order and training others to conduct emergency repairs, fight fires and anything else required to save lives and keep ships afloat.

"I have to prepare the crew for the worst-case scenario. When we are out to sea, if we get hit by a missile, collide into something or a fire ignites, the crew has to be ready," SCPO Hopson said. "It is an amazing and sometimes eerie feeling to do my job. I was definitely forged by the sea, and I love what I do. I wouldn't change it one bit!"

His dedication to protecting others has earned SCPO Hopson a 2018 GEICO Military Service Award. The Hopkinsville, Kentucky, native says military service is a calling and part of his family's DNA. His WWII Army veteran father and SCPO Hopson's own son, whose Army service included operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, are among many who make up his family's strong military legacy.

"A great deal of my family served in the military," said SCPO Hopson. "They are all great men and women who are very well respected. I wanted to be great and respected like them."

SCPO Hopson has seen large swaths of the country and plenty of the world over the course of his more than 25 years in the Navy. In fact, he spent time in Rota, Spain, to develop a first-of-its-kind Navy training course that includes a series of action plans for various emergency scenarios.

"I have served with and met some exciting people in various countries," he said. "I appreciate the Navy for providing me with opportunities to get my own degrees and certifications and build my experience in my job field."

SCPO Hopson has been quite generous with his vast safety and emergency preparedness knowledge. He has helped more than a dozen nonprofits address code-compliance issues, and it is not uncommon to find him reading safety-themed children's books at daycare centers and schools. SCPO Hopson is an aspiring writer himself; his first book, "Naval Engineering: Principles of Fire Protection," is set to be published this summer.

In addition to his writing pursuits, SCPO Hopson spends his free time with his wife Barbara, his son Eric and grandson Eli'Jah. He is also one of the brothers of St. Paul #104 Masonic Lodge.

While SCPO Hopson says cuts in resources have made his job more challenging, he loves what he does and loves the Navy.

"The military can make you become the best that you can become. It can give you purpose and direction," he said. "It can be challenging, but it will be rewarding. It was the best decision I ever made, and I would make the same decision over and over and over again."

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the GEICO Military Service Awards, which honor one enlisted member from each of the five Armed Services and one member from the National Guard or Reserve for their achievements and contributions to civilian and military communities. 

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