A man from a community with a population of about 100 wants to set a good example for kids in rural Alaska, after achieving a highly esteemed rank in the U.S. Navy.
Senior Chief Travis Wolf was promoted on Friday to chief warrant officer in Hawaii, where a commissioning ceremony was also held in Pearl Harbor.
Chief warrant officers are extensively trained and promoted from the enlisted ranks to fulfill a wide array of technical specialties. A Navy web page describing the evolution of the warrant officer rank says they may succeed to a ship or naval command, if properly qualified.
"(A)lthough by precedence (the warrant officer) ranks after the junior officer, he is recognized and esteemed today for what he always has been -- a highly skilled and proven professional," Navy officials wrote. "Not a 'junior officer' but a warrant officer."
When Richard Wolf Sr. found out about his son's achievement, he said there was only one way to describe the feeling.
"I don't know if you ever watch the Olympics and you see parents there, you can pretty much tell how they feel -- how I feel," Wolf said.
Chief Warrant Officer Wolf says Friday it's a way for him to set a good example for others to follow.
"You know, going back to the small village, I just try to give an example to my children and to the kids where I'm from," CWO Wolf said. "That persistence does pay off, and never give up on your dreams and continue to strive for the things that you hope for."
According to family members, Wolf tried for several years for the promotion, but finally got it after his fourth year.
"He worked pretty hard on this commissioning; he got let down, but he picked himself back up," Richard Wolf Sr. said.
Wolf's siblings, his sister Charlene and twin brother Tracy, say he's come a long way the family started in Sleetmute and later moved to Aniak,.
"It always floods in Aniak, they would always put us in baby bathtubs and decide that we can go by boat around ourselves, you know and come see if we'd make it back," Charlene Wolf said.
After trying out college at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Wolf decided later to join the Navy like his brother Tracy.
"We are twins -- we were both in the Navy at the same time, but my time was a little shorter," Tracy Wolf said.
Nearly 18 years later, Travis Wolf is still thriving in the service.
"I was really surprised," Tracy Wolf said of his brother's promotion. "Just to make senior chief was amazing, and now to be a commissioned officer in the Navy's amazing."
It's an accomplishment that inspires Charlene Wolf to continue working toward her degree in finance at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
"He gives me strength, you know," Charlene Wolf said. "Always makes me do good in school and try to do as good as him, and he's a very loving guy and he has a great family; I hope to have that someday."
The Wolf family has a history with military ties, with Richard Wolf Sr. serving in the Air Force.