After growing up with two parents in the Navy, Raquel McCray decided she, too, would enlist in the maritime branch when she turned 18. To her surprise, this year, the now 25-year-old was given the opportunity to work alongside her mother, Master Chief Logistics Specialist (LCSM) Tanya McCray, after being temporarily assigned to her ship.

"I chose to join because I watched my parents for my entire life," Racquel told
Good Morning America. "They both served, so watching them every day go to work made me actually want to follow in their footsteps, with how successful they were and what they were able to provide for my sister and I."

Raquel joined the Navy in May, seeking to be just like her mother in the logistics specialty. She then reached out to her chain of command to request an assignment to Tanya’s ship, the USS Gerald R. Ford. 

"I was a proud mother," Tanya said. "It took a while for her to get everything situated to come in, but that was my baby and I was so proud. I was able to share what I did with my daughter every day. She saw what respect that someone of my pay grade gets on a day to day, how they look up to me, and it just felt great to be able to share that experience with her, and also, just to see her hard work.”

Tanya also added that she never tried to force Racquel into joining the Navy just because she was in it. Naturally, however, Racquel was inspired by her mother and wanted to be just like her.

"I shared some pictures with her and I talked about the experience, and she told me that was why she wanted to join the military — to be able to participate in things like that," Tanya explained. "I talked to my chain of command, she talked to her chain of command and we thought it could be used as a training opportunity."

Though the experience was short-lived, Racquel and her mother described the bonding opportunity as “great.”  

"It was a great experience for me, even though it only lasted four weeks," the Logistic Specialist Seaman (LSSN) said. "I would have liked for it to be a little bit longer, but it was really nice to be able to see the benefits of all of [my mom's] hard work, how people looked up to her and respected her."

“It’s pretty cool walking with her. ‘Everyone says good morning master chief’, and she greets them and I’m just smiling the whole way. I feel like a proud daughter,” she added.

Tanya also shared that while she enjoyed having Racquel aboard her ship, she employs a tough love demeanor when it comes to her daughter, only because she wants Racquel’s goals to eventually surpass her own. 

“Every mother and daughter has their moments,” Tanya said, Navy Times reported. “We love each other, but I hold her to certain expectations and I expect her to follow those, but that’s only because I love her and want the best for her. I want her to succeed in her personal life and her career. She has huge shoes to fill, and I remind her of that. I want her to be better than me; I want her to set her goals higher than mine were. I know she can do it.”