It is with deep regret I inform you of the passing of Rear Admiral Grant Thomas “Terry” Hollett, Jr., U.S. Naval Reserve (Retired) on 1 August 2021 at age 79. RADM Hollett was appointed an ensign in June 1964, served initially as a Surface Nuclear Officer—including experiencing the 1969 fire on USS Enterprise CVA(N)-65)—before leaving active duty, but remaining in the U.S. Naval Reserve. His commands included NR CINCUSNAVEUR DET 0513 at Great Lakes, NR COMSECONDFLT DET 113 at Great Lakes, Naval Reserve Force Flag Support Unit, New Orleans, and Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region THIRTEEN. His service transcript (and his obituary) does not list a date of retirement, but it was probably 1996.
After graduating from Duke University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Terry Hollett was appointed an ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 3 June 1964. Ensign Hollett first reported as assistant engineering officer to the destroyer USS HULL (DD-945) for Pacific Fleet operations. Selected for the Surface Nuclear Power Program, ENS Hollett then reported in November 1964 to the Naval Nuclear Power School, Mare Island, California. In May 1965, ENS Hollett was assigned to the nuclear-powered guided missile destroyer leader USS Bainbridge (DLG(N)/CGN-25) as an engineering officer of the watch for a Vietnam War deployment. Bainbridge screened the aircraft carriers and served as a radar picket ship and search and rescue platform in the Gulf of Tonkin, before continuing to her new homeport of Long Beach, California (almost a circumnavigation of the globe).
In January 1966, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Hollett joined USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin, conducting strike operations against targets in North Vietnam. LTJG Hollett served as “A” Division officer, and was aboard when Enterprise went into the Sea of Japan in reaction to the North Korean seizure of the intelligence collection ship USS Pueblo (AGER-2) before continuing on with another deployment to Yankee Station. Promoted in December 1967, Lieutenant Hollett was assigned to Enterprise as she concluded a quick turnaround and commenced another deployment to Vietnam, when she suffered a severe fire off Hawaii on 14 January 1969 that killed 28 and injured 314 of her crew and destroyed 15 aircraft. Following repairs in Hawaii, Enterprise continued en route Vietnam, but was diverted into the Sea of Japan again in response to the North Korean shoot-down of a U.S. Navy EC-121 Deep Sea 129 Intelligence Collection aircraft on 15 April 1969 that killed all 31 personnel aboard. Enterprise then continued to Yankee Station, where Hollett detached in May 1969, after one full and two half Vietnam deployments.
LT Hollett then left active duty but remained affiliated with the U.S. Naval Reserve. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in July 1972 and commander in February 1979. I have no information on his reserve assignments during this period.
Commencing in October 1983, Commander Hollett served as staff retention officer in Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region THIRTEEN, at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. CDR Hollett was promoted to captain on 1 July 1985. In July 1985, he attended the Reserve Component National Security Course, Norfolk, Virginia.
In October 1985, Captain Hollett assumed command of Naval Reserve Commander-in-Chief U.S. Naval Forces Europe Detachment 0513 (NR CINCUSNAVEUR DET 0513), Great Lakes, with multiple Active Duty for Training (ACTDUTRA) assignments to CINCUSNAVEUR as staff action officer and executive assistant. From October 1987, CAPT Hollett was commanding officer of Naval Reserve Commander SECOND Fleet Detachment 113 (NR COMSECONDFLT DET 113), Great Lakes, with ACTDUTRA at Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, Norfolk, and Chief of Naval Operations OP-095 as staff action officer. From October 1990, he served as commander of Naval Reserve Flag Support Unit, New Orleans.
On 1 July 1991, CAPT Hollett was promoted to rear admiral lower half. There is a gap in the transcript from August 1991 to September 1992 although there are multiple ACTDUTRA at Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT) as senior Total Quality Leadership (TQL) advisor. Rear Admiral Hollett assumed command of Naval Reserve Readiness Command Region THIRTEEN, Great Lakes, in September 1992, which is the last duty assignment listed. Significant ACTDUTRA included selection boards, CINCLANTFLT Strategic Plans and Policy, and CINCLANTFLT acting chief of staff (February 1993).
Hollett was promoted to rear admiral (upper half) on 1 July 1994. The last ACTDUTRA listed is August to October 1994 as CINCLANT director of operations (J3). No retirement date is listed.
According to his service transcript (these are frequently incomplete) RADM Hollett’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal. Based on a small thumbnail photo, he as additional awards: in order of precedence these are probably a Navy Unit Commendation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, possible Humane Action Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, along with two awards too indistinct to identify.
In his civilian career, RADM Hollett worked at Procter and Gamble, Miller Fluid Power (Flick Reedy Holding Company), and Cherry Electrical Products, eventually becoming president, and then chairman and chief executive officer at Eagle Pitcher Technologies. He also served on the Board of Visitors for Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, as well as terms on the Reserve Forces Policy Board and the U.S. Army Science Board. The transcript lists his civilian occupation as vice-president/general manager of Vickers Electronic Systems, although this is not mentioned in his obituary or Linked-in profile.
Other post-retirement affiliations and activities include: Dean’s Council for Duke University; Grand Marshall/Speaker at St. Louis Veterans Day; Board Recognition, Northern Illinois Business Association; Advisory Commission, College of Lake County; American Electrical Association, Chicago Startup; Illinois Governor’s Council on Support for Guard and Reserve; life member of the Naval Order, the Naval Reserve Association, and the Navy League.
Services with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery will be held at a date to be determined.
RADM Hollett’s first five years on active duty exemplified the sacrifice and danger involved in a career in the U.S. Navy, with multiple Vietnam War deployments to the Gulf of Tonkin on two different ships, reactions to the capture of USS Pueblo and the shootdown of the EC-121 that brought the U.S. and North Korea to the brink of war, and one of the worst shipboard fires in U.S. naval history. His talent and capability were recognized early on with his selection to serve in the engineering departments of two of the first three nuclear-powered warships in the U.S. Navy (and in the world). After a period of particularly arduous sea duty, he chose to pursue a civilian career and one in the U.S. Naval Reserve simultaneously, in some ways just as demanding in a different way. Then as now, rising in the ranks of the Naval Reserve (now Navy Reserve) required great commitment and sacrifice of family time. In recognition of his leadership skills, he was given multiple Reserve commands, which at that time were trained and ready to augment key U.S. Navy command staffs in the event of war with the Soviet Union. With the end of the Cold War, he led these commands through a transitional period with greater emphasis on individual augmentation in response to a full spectrum of crises and conflict. RADM Hollett was the quintessential Naval Reserve officer, ready when called upon to drop his civilian life and answer the nation’s call. He remained engaged in organizations supporting the U.S. Navy even after his retirement. For his dedication, commitment, and sacrifice, his career is worthy of remembering and serving as a superb example for those who serve in the U.S. Navy Reserve today.
Rest in Peace, Admiral Hollett.