His grandfather was a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy, and his neighbor was a military man when young Tristan Collop decided he wanted to be like them. Now he is as Petty Officer 3rd Class Tristan Collop.
The Bushnell native graduated from South Sumter High School in 2014 and is a mass communications specialist in NSA Bahrain, forward-deployed to the Arabian Gulf Region in the Navy’s U.S. 5th Fleet.
“Currently I manage the Armed Forces Network Facebook page, post graphics for specialty shows, and host a radio show called ‘Not the Morning Show, it is Swamp Thang,’” Tristan says.
He adds that the values and traditions he grew up with in Bushnell provided the base for his success in the Navy, adding, “I value politeness and getting your work done as quickly as you can and without error if possible.”
U.S. 5th Fleet directs naval operations to ensure maritime security and stability in the Central Region, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and Pacific Ocean through the western Indian Ocean. They work with partner nations to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.
NSA Bahrain enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. 5th Fleet and allied forces in support of Navy Region Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia’s mission to provide services to the fleet, sailors, and family.
“My job is important to the mission by keeping sailors’ morale high. I provide news information about base happenings as well,” Tristan says. “I joined the Navy, but did not expect to be a radio DJ. For me, it is not the location that is unique, but the job. This is my first time being outside the states and immersed in a new culture.”
Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Tristan is most proud of earning the Blue Jacket of the Quarter 1st Quarter, while assigned to AFN Europe in 2018.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, he and other sailors know they have a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes contributing the Navy the nation needs.
“We are all serving our country and preserving our freedom,” Tristand adds. “I have always been patriotic and feel I should give back after using the benefits.”