Twenty-one years ago, Capt. Jim Lucci -- commanding officer, Defense Service Office Pacific -- and Capt. Dom Flatt -- commanding officer, Region Legal Service Office Japan -- started Officer Indoctrination School (OIS) in Newport, R.I., together and subsequently served side-by-side as first-tour lieutenants at Naval Legal Service Office Mid-Atlantic in Norfolk, Va.
Three years later, while both were stationed in the D.C. area, their daughters, Megan Lucci and Rachel Flatt, were born within weeks of each other. After that time, the Luccis and the Flatts -- who collectively have been stationed in Texas, Annapolis, Tennessee, Tampa, Everett, Pearl Harbor, the Pentagon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Italy and Japan -- would not be stationed near each other again until 2016, when both were in command in the same building in Yokosuka, Japan.
"When Jim and I met at OIS, we quickly became friends through our common backgrounds," said Flatt. "We were both JAGs, both married, and both of our families are from Texas. In fact, my father-in-law, my uncle, and Jim's dad all worked together in the same building, yet we didn't know each other until the JAG Corps brought us together."
In a moment of pride for the local judge advocate community, Rachel and Megan graduated June 9 as the valedictorian and salutatorian from Nile C. Kinnick (Yo-Hi), the largest DoD high school in the Pacific. Megan will soon make her seventh and final Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move to Millington, Tenn., after having spent six years abroad. From there, she will begin her undergraduate education at Penn State University, where she plans to major in astrophysics. Rachel will travel to Washington, D.C., to be recognized in a White House ceremony as one of the nation's 161 Presidential Scholars for 2017. From there, she will make her seventh PCS move to Vermont, where she will attend Middlebury College and continue her study of East Asian languages.
"We are so proud of these young women, said Lucci. "They recognize that all the moves and travel and the skills and experiences they acquire along the way are the advantages of a Navy lifestyle. It's not always easy, but along the way you make friends that last a lifetime. We wouldn't trade it for anything."