Brothers in Arms: Four Yorktown Brothers Graduate from Naval Academy

The Davin brothers are all graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy: Joseph (Class of 2009), James (Class of 2011), Jason (Class of 2015) and John (Class of 2017) Credits: Rick Davin
Rick and Rosemary Davin with their son John, who graduated from Naval Academy in May. Credits: Rick Davin

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown native Joseph Davin, whose father survived the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, knew on Sept. 11, 2001, that he wanted to serve his country in some form or fashion. What he didn’t know when he eventually enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2005 was the domino effect his decision would have on his three younger brothers.

Sixteen years after almost losing his life while working for Verizon, Rick Davin is now the proud father of four graduates from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Like their father and grandfather before them, Joseph (Class of 2009), James (Class of 2011), Jason (Class of 2015) and John (Class of 2017), upon graduation, were all commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. In the most recent graduating class, only 25 percent of graduates were commissioned in the Marines. The other 75 percent were commissioned in the U.S. Navy.

Rick served for three years on active duty and spent eight more years in the Individual Ready Reserve, leaving with the rank of captain. It was his harrowing experience in the World Trade Center, though, that prompted Joseph to join the military.

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The longtime Verizon employee was responsible for the New York City government account and was in his office in the World Trade Center that morning. After the attacks, he stayed in the city for two days working in the New York City Police command center.

“I got home after two days and worked the next three months with the New York City police and fire, running communications in the command center and at Ground Zero,” Davin said.

Currently, Joseph is a captain in the Marine Corps, serving at the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, as an instructor at Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz.

James is also a captain, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot at Marine Corps Air Station in New River, N.C. Last year, he spent seven months deployed in the Persian Gulf.

Jason is a first lieutenant, serving as a Marine helicopter pilot at Naval Air Station at Whiting Field in Milton, Fla. His “winging ceremony” is projected to be in September. At that time, he’ll be assigned to a fleet squadron.

Finally, the recent graduate, John is a second lieutenant, serving at The Basic School for Marine Officers in Quantico, Va. He is expected to graduate in December and will then go on to flight school.

Rick said he is unsure of how rare an accomplishment it is to have four siblings graduate from the Naval Academy. He did note that on his frequent trips to Annapolis, many families fly Blue Star banners or have stickers on their windshields, indicating that they have sons or daughters in active service in the U.S. Armed Forces. He’s seen many banners with two stars, but has never seen another with four, as his family has.

“We’re a Blue Star Family with four Blue Stars,” Rick said.

If keeping up with ceremonies, graduations and deployments wasn’t enough for Rick and his wife, Rosemary, two of their sons were also married recently.

James was set to deploy in October 2015, and decided he wanted to get married before shipping off. Because his family would all be in attendance at Jason’s academy graduation in May 2015, he decided that would be a good time for the ceremony. James received special permission to leave the base and use the academy’s wedding chapel.

Six weeks later, Joseph was also married in San Diego. He pushed up his wedding so James could attend before being deployed.

Before enrolling in the Naval Academy, all four brothers graduated from Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers. The brothers all also earned the rank of Eagle Scout as members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 173 out of St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown. For their Eagle Scout projects, Joseph painted fire hydrants in Yorktown; James reconditioned trails at Turkey Mountain; Jason landscaped the St. Patrick’s Stone Church; and John landscaped the courthouse and police buildings in Yorktown.

“We’re extremely proud,” Rick and Rosemary said of their sons’ accomplishments. “We’re thrilled to see them excelling.”

Each military graduation features a special speaker, often the president or vice president of the United States. In 2009, Joseph met President Barack Obama; in 2011, James met Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel; in 2015, Jason met Vice President Joe Biden; and in 2017, John met Vice President Mike Pence.

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