Commentary: Veteran Spotlight – Marsey Randall


By Christopher Young,

Contributing Writer,

In honor of Veteran’s Day this year, The Mississippi Link shines its light on native Jacksonian, Boatswain’s Mate Second Class Petty Officer Marsey Randall, US Navy. Randall was born in Jackson, raised in Pearl, and came from a military family where five cousins and an uncle served in the Navy, and another uncle in the Army. At one point all eight were on active duty at the same time. 

She went on to serve nearly sixteen years both active-duty and reserve time. Her story is inspiring and a pleasure to spotlight for our readers.

She was a member of the very first Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) class at Pearl High School in 1986, then joined the Navy in 1990, and remained on active duty for four years. Her first duty station was in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, serving in the Signalman rating, which later merged with Quartermaster, and ultimately to Boatswain’s Mate.

Naval Station Roosevelt Roads closed in 2004, after a long history which was ultimately influenced by lethal incidents at the live firing range at Vieques Island, only 14 miles from “NAVSTA Rosey Roads” as it was referred to during Randall’s tenure.

She served as a deck seaman on tugboats escorting ships in and out of port, and ferrying passengers; including distinguished visitors (VIP’s). Runs back and forth to Vieques Island were common.

She then transferred to USNS Guadalupe (TAO 200), a West Coast underway replenishment oiler, and served out her enlistment there.

Seven years after her enlistment ended, she joined the Naval Reserves in October 2001, and was attached to Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Meridian and would often drill in Gulfport. Very interesting timing for sure. That was just a month after the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States of America, where just under 3,000 died on American soil as a result.

Petty Officer Randall doesn’t fully attribute her choice to wear the military uniform once again to the attacks, “But I was at a time in my life where I wanted more focus and I missed the comradery, being part of the team. I just wanted to be back in there.”

She was assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group, first to the Navy Customs Battalion Romeo – The Rough Riders, and then to Battalion Tango – The Tiger Sharks, on extended deployment to the middle east. She spent the better part of three years (2006-2008) at Mohammed Al-Ahmad Kuwait Naval Base and U.S. Army Installation Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, which accommodates elements of Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, in addition to military personnel from the United Kingdom, Poland, Romania, Australia and Canada. Randall received pre-deployment training at Naval Base Norfolk in Norfolk, VA and at Fort Eustis, in Newport News, VA.

Randall and other Battalion staff were trained in the use of weapons, driving tactical vehicles, first aid, small unit tactics, hand-to-hand combat and the procedures and standards required of items and personnel re-entering the United States from overseas. That training earned her certification as a Customs Border Clearance Agent, with the authority to carry out customs inspection on equipment and personnel within United States Central Command area of responsibility. Randall was qualified on both the M16 rifle and 9MM pistol.

When not deployed, Randall continued her formal education and earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and family planning in 2011 from Jackson State University. Even while she in the Reserves she continued educating young people. She began a twenty-year teaching career in California and completed it back in Mississippi. She also served as independent contractor assisting elderly people with transportation and health needs.

Around that time she began to think seriously about starting her own business. When the pandemic hit the idea to open a Rage Room made perfect sense because it was something that was really needed – so much frustration and anguish, so much need to vent. Rage Rooms are in hundreds of cities across the US now but had started in Japan around 2008. These are safe places where people of all ages can spend time destressing. Whether from unresolved anger, depression, anxiety, grief or trauma – or even just after a really crummy day. The Rage Room in Elton Place at 4611 Terry Road in Jackson offers an answer. You can learn more at, or call Marsey at 769-251-0020 to learn more.

When asked what it really means to her to be a veteran, she said, “Pride. There are a lot of people who couldn’t or who wouldn’t serve. I served. In some ways it’s like an exclusive club and you will end up with lifelong friends.” 

I asked her what she would say now to a 19-year old version of herself about joining the military, and she replied, “I would tell her to take advantage of all the opportunities. Volunteer to go places others don’t want to go. Take the tough assignments. Take the lead, because time goes by fast.”

Happy Veteran’s Day to BM2 Marsey Randall, and to all our veterans. Thank you for your service. You are that less than 1% of our population who wear the military cloth of this Nation, and we never forget that.

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