A lifetime of tradition

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
An overwhelming pressure hits a U.S. Air Force 2nd Lieutenant as soon as he enters a competition. However, all that clears when he steps up to the shooting line and starts to run through his mental checklist. In his gun box, everything is in its proper spot. Muscle memory begins to kick in. He is prepared; he is ready.

"Ready on the left," he takes a breath. "Ready on the right," he raises his gun onto the target. His focus is solely on the front sight and trigger control. "Ready on the firing line." As the final command "commence fire" is given, he is ready. As soon as the target turns, he's locked on and has already fired.

For 2nd Lt. Travis Jordan, an Air Force National Pistol Team member, shooting is not only a passion but a family custom that has lasted generations.

His grandfather, was a Marine sergeant who divided his time between maintaining guns in the armory and out in the field as a flame thrower during the Korean War.

The tradition of military service continued as Travis's father, Michael Jordan, became a Marine officer.

Growing up as a military child, his family had a love for guns. Since childhood, Travis and his father have bonded over guns and share the same passion.

At the age of 10, Travis interest peaked when he received his first BB gun. He became a more serious shooter at the age of 18 when he received his first handgun, an M9.

"My Dad gave me my first gun," said Travis. "It was the gun he received as a gift after he returned from Iraq."

Carrying on the military family tradition, Travis joined the Air Force ROTC during college and commissioned as an officer in the Air Force in 2015.

Months before officer training school, Travis used his father's prized gun to practice for field training. When the time came, he achieved his goal of becoming an expert marksman in small arms.

Travis continued to practice and compete for the following years with his sight set on being selected to compete on the Air Force National Pistol Team.

Once Air Force ROTC was completed on June 6, 2015, he entered active duty as a public affairs officer where he was then stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. However, within a couple of months after arriving at the base, Travis was off to Fort Meade, Maryland, for extensive public affairs training.

While at Ft. Meade, he tried out for the Air Force pistol team.

In March 2016, Travis's hard work paid off.  He was selected to be an Air Force National Pistol Team member.

"There are incredible shooters on this team," said Travis. "I'm just honored to train and compete with them."

Family tradition is still ever present as he now competes with the same type of weapon, a Colt M1911, his grandfather carried during his time in Korea so many years ago.

Since joining the team, his family's bond has only grown.

"It's great to share a bond with my son in shooting," said Michael. "Travis has a special talent and will go far given his young age and outstanding potential for growth."

When opportunities arise, they jump at the chance to go out and shoot together.

"When I go home on leave, the first thing we do is go to the range together," explained Travis.

Going forward as Travis continues to practice and train during free time, he one day hopes to earn a place in the President's Hundred competition, where the best of the best compete and the 100 top-scoring military and civilian shooters earn the coveted President's Hundred tab. He also hopes to coordinate an elementary excellence-in-competition match that will allow the base populace at MacDill to get involved.