Hans Davis ’98 and MAT ’00 grew up in Van Nuys, California but moved to Vermont with his family to finish his high school years. Right after graduation, he enlisted in the US Navy (USN) and reported to San Diego for his basic training. After completing his basic training and specialization course work as a cook and mess management specialist, he reported for duty to serve on the USS Okinawa, an amphibious assault ship with a compliment of 650 USN personnel and a contingent of 1000-1200 Marines.
Hans had three deployments aboard the Okinawa: Team Spirit 1987, Ernest Will 1988 and Operation Desert Shield in 1990. He served as the Captain’s mess chef and also got to serve the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy as well as legendary comedian Bob Hope during a performance tour. After departing active duty in 1990, Hans had several friends attending SOSC so he considered that as an option for his future so he could use his Montgomery GI Bill educational benefits.
Hans applied and was accepted the fall of 1993 at SOSC and made the move to Ashland. Once there, he found the class size to be optimal and loved that he was not a number to his professors. As a proud member of the Ojibwe Nation from Minnesota, he was happy to be a part of the Native American Student Union (NASU) and enjoyed events and camaraderie along with combined activities with the Black Student Union and the Latino Student Union.
Hans enjoyed his courses, particularly those with communications professor Dr. Susan Walsh, former NASU advisors Dr. Jean Maxwell, Mary Jane Cedar Face and David West, who were always willing to offer wisdom and advice, even outside of designated office hours. “It was very enjoyable and pleasing to be able to see fellow students and my professors on campus in a variety of locations and activities. It made for a close-knit educational experience,” he said. He focused his energy towards a communications major and earned his bachelor’s in communication in 1998. He stayed on campus to work through teacher education courses, particularly enjoying the leadership of mentors like Steve Thorpe and Bill Greene while working towards a secondary education certification in speech, which he earned in 2000.
After becoming certified to teach, Hans was hired by Crossroads, a non-profit alternative school of 140 students in Medford. He loved teaching there and stayed for six years. While working at Crossroads, he worked on two more certificates and completed the requirements to earn his Special Education endorsement. In 2007, he was hired at Eagle Point Middle School as a behavioral specialist and worked with students there until 2012.
After 11 fulfilling years as an educator, the Navy came calling. The Navy was trying to fill recruitment needs in Oregon and was struggling to meet its goals. They made an attractive offer to Hans that he couldn’t refuse. He began recruiting out of the office in Eugene for Prior Service and now is the Hometown Medical Officer Recruiter/Lead and looks for students interested in pursuing graduate medical school and health professionals looking to join active or reserve duty. His search travels take him extensively from Salem to Bend to Redding, and to the Oregon coast. He also gets to spend time recruiting on the SOU campus. The move sure paid off for the Navy. Hans was named Senior Sailor of the Year by his commander in 2020. He was also promoted to Petty Officer First Class in 2014.
“My experience at SOU gave me the opportunity to grow as a person and as a professional. The campus, staff and students made the place feel like my home away from home and I have only the best memories of my time there.”
Learn more: US Navy Careers