Ever since he can remember, Jamison Ware always had deep respect for his country. He grew up in the sweltering Florida Panhandle to military parents who were both in the US Air Force. The experience of seeing both parents serve their country gave Jamison a sense of patriotism from an early age. Not to mention, his childhood involved moving around a lot to different countries. While this experience opened him up to new cultures, it also forced him to make new friends quickly. Moving around is never easy for any kid, but Jamison embraced the experience and used it to fuel a sense of curiosity that would never leave him.
Seeing firsthand what a career in the Armed Forces was like, Jamison had a feeling he’d do something special in life, he just didn’t know what that would be.
“I always knew I wanted to be a maverick, but I wasn’t sure what this looked like,” Jamison jokes.
During summers as a teenager, he worked for Beach Safety, serving as a lifeguard for Okaloosa County Beaches in Florida. While others recognized his penchant for swimming, Jamison never thought that his career would rest upon this skill.
“I got great pride from lifeguarding, but I never for one second thought I would ever have a career rescuing people from the water,” Jamison continues.
In his early twenties, Jamison embarked on an adventure to New York City, eager to discover meaning in his life. Like many transplants to Manhattan, Jamison soaked in the buzz of city life while studying for his Master’s. He would wake up at 5:30 AM and go for runs along the Hudson River, still unaware that the water which he stared at every morning would play such a central role in his career.
As time went on, there was something missing in Jamison’s life that he just couldn’t put his finger on. Trapped by the mayhem of living in Manhattan and stymied by the extortionate cost of living, Jamison’s dream of becoming a maverick one day was diminishing before his eyes. One afternoon would be the catalyst for change.
A friend told him about a job in the US Navy called Air Rescue Swimming, encouraging him to consider it as a career path. Curious as ever, Jamison started to do some research on the job and felt a sense of excitement in every description of the role he read.
“It just seemed like something I could be good at,” Jamison says with an smile.
Knowing he probably had the skills as a swimmer and athlete to at least be considered for the role, Jamison decided to speak to a recruiter.