The Magic of Midway runs through many generations.

The USS Midway Museum hosts nearly 400 military ceremonies every year. From reenlistments and commissionings to retirements and memorial services, hardly a day passes on the Midway without a ceremony taking place on the ship’s flight or hangar decks.

With a recent commissioning ceremony for two young Marine officers, however, came a connection to Midway’s legacy that dates back decades.

Newly commissioned as Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenants, Stephen Lofy and Trevor Salom, chose Midway for their ceremony because of the ship’s association with both their families.

Trevor’s grandfather was a storekeeper on Midway from 1961 to 1965 while Stephen’s father was an F/A-18 pilot with Strike Fighter Squadron 195 (VFA-195) as part of Midway’s embarked airwing from 1988 to 1991.

Trevor Salom receives his first salute as a 2nd lieutenant from his grandfather, Romeo, at his commissioning ceremony.

“My father had his nugget tour (first fleet squadron assignment) aboard Midway during Operation Desert Storm, and he also held his retirement ceremony aboard the ship in September 2005,” said Stephen, who graduated from San Jose State University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. “I felt it would be a symbolic moment to have my career begin where his career roughly started and where it ended.”

“Stephen held his commissioning ceremony, beginning his uniformed service, on board the USS Midway’s angle deck,” said Stephen’s father Mike, who flew 42 combat missions during the Gulf War in 1991. “It’s significance did not go unnoticed. On that very spot, I held my retirement ceremony that closed out my 20-year naval career. We have now come entirely full-circle. The event was made extra memorable and more meaningful since it was held on Midway.”

For Trevor, having his grandfather give him the traditional first salute during the ceremony was a must.

“Having my grandfather as part of my ceremony was hugely important to me,” said Trevor, a 2021 University of California at San Diego (UCSD) graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering. “As soon as I found out about the symbolism of a first salute, I knew that he was the only person I could ask.”

Trevor Salom with his grandfather, Romeo, a retired Navy chief petty officer.

“I was really proud to see him get his commission,” said Romeo Salom, Trevor’s grandfather who retired as a chief petty officer after serving 20 years in the Navy. “Having been enlisted, I was excited to see him get the opportunity to commission.”

Stephen and Trevor earned their commissions after finishing Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. Following completion of Basic School, also at Quantico, both are scheduled to begin naval flight school later this year.

“I grew up around jet aircraft over at Miramar, surrounded by Marines that were working with my father,” said Stephen, who went to High Tech High School in San Diego. “My father flew F/A-18s with the Navy and the Marine Corps. I would love to fly anything as long as it has wings and engines. Everyone wants jets of course, but anything will do for me.”

“I’ve always been drawn to aviation, particularly from the engineering side,” said Trevor who decided to join the Marine Corps for a career that would be challenging as well as provide a sense of purpose. “Going to school at UCSD I would walk to campus and watch all variety of aircraft fly out of Miramar, and something about it just captured my imagination. To me, a seat in any aircraft would be an amazing privilege, but I hope to fly an aircraft which lets me closely support the mission of the Marine Corps.”

With Midway deep in each of their families’ DNA, starting their careers on the carrier’s flight deck was the perfect location for their commissionings.

“I knew it would mean a lot for my family, and especially my grandfather, to do it on his ship,” said Trevor, a Santa Clara native. “I did my best to hide the fact that we were planning to do it on the Midway from him until it was set in stone. Being able to receive the first salute from my grandfather was definitely the highlight of the ceremony for me.”

Stephen Lofy has his 2nd lieutenant bars pinned on by his mother and father during his commissioning ceremony.

“It was an exciting moment,” said Romeo, who has many fond memories of visiting Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines when deployed on Midway. “It was also a very good memory of the old Midway.”

Starting his Marine Corps journey on the flight deck of Midway, where his father spent a critical part of his naval career, was significant for Stephen. 

“It was a big deal,” said Stephen, who also has family members who severed in the Navy and Army during World War II and the Korean War. “For my father to first pin on my lieutenant bars and then present my Mameluke Sword was a big part of the continuing service within our family history.

“I am very proud of Stephen’s desire to serve and the path he has chosen to pursue a military career to defend this great nation,” said Mike, who retired as a Lt. Cmdr. “It is my earnest hope that he enjoys a long, successful, honorable, and pleasurable aviation career. Midway Magic endures!”

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