Posted by Terry Everett on Nov 13, 2019
      Navy Captain James Rimmer, commanding officer of the U.S.S. Kearsarge, shared some of his experience with the Navy.  He also talked about where the Navy fits in our National Defense strategy.  
      Capt. Rimmer began by thanking those who have served in the past as well as though who have family members currently serving in the military.
There are four pillars in which the Navy is important.  First is to protect the homeland and our way of life.  Second is to promote American prosperity.  Third is preserving peace through strength. Fourth is advancing American influence.
      Capt. Rimmer pointed out that 70% of our planet is made up of water.  Eighty percent of the population lives within 200 miles of the coastline and 90% of all the goods you can buy came here by ship.
      The Navy continues to prepare for a power struggle with are mainly Russia and China.  Two other countries the Navy keeps a close eye on is North Korea and Iran.  The of course, the war on terrorism is a never ending battle.
      The U.S.S. Kearsarge is an amphibious assault ship based in Norfolk, Virginia.  It is one of the Navy's older ships commissioned in 1993.
It carries 25 aircraft, three Navy and 22 Marine Corps.  The are able to carry three landing craft in the stern of the ship.  
      American Naval Forces provide powerful yet unobtrusive presence; strategic deterrence; control of the seas; extended and continuous on-scene crisis response; project precise power from the sea; and provide sealift if larger scale warfighting scenarios emerge. 
      There are about 700,000 folks in the Navy today.  320,000 are on active duty with about 10% of them from Texas.
      Capt. Rimmer said he never would have believed it if someone would have told him at the age of 17 and attending Sherman High School, that he would go on to command a helicopter squadron and then command a large ship.  He said it is all because of the opportunities presented to him through mentors, coaches, teachers, community members and Sunday School teachers who all had the ability to influence his life.  
T      he Kearsarge carries about 2,500 people on the ship which includes 1,400 Marines and 1,100 crew members.  About 30% of the crew are females.  About 140 of the 1,100 crew members are either senior non-commissioned officers or officers.  About 600 of those are under the age of 26.
      Capt. Rimmer pointed out that when he went into the Navy in 1995, about 40% of those serving had a parent serving or who had served.  Today, it's only about 15% who have a parent with military experience.
      After high school, Rimmer attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  He then went on to learn how to fly airplanes and helicopters.  His first tour of duty was out of San Diego, California, where he spent about four years.  He then went to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he was an R.O.T.C. instructor while completing his MBA.  
      He then moved to Norfolk, VA.  From there he went back to San Diego as a department head for another helicopter squadron.  He continued to fly and was then deployed to the Western Pacific.  Following that tour he moved back to D.C., where he spent about two-and-a-half years before returning back to San Diego.
      By now he has a wife and four kids who have been along for the ride.  He was then an executive officer and commanding officer of a helicopter squadron.  He then moved back to Norfolk where he was the navigator on the Abraham Lincoln.  In June 2017, he joined the Kearsarge as the commanding officer.