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Biographical essay and data were provided by Vice Admiral George W. Emery. Photos are courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation.

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George Williams Emery

Vice Admiral George W. Emery, USN (Ret.).


Vice Admiral Emery was appointed 24th Commander of the Submarine Force US Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Submarine Allied Command Atlantic by President Clinton in August 1993.

Born in Maine, Vice Admiral Emery was appointed to the US Naval Academy by Senator Margaret Chase Smith and graduated with distinction with the Class of 1963. He attended graduate programs at the University of Delaware and George Washington University, and served on five nuclear submarines, commanding USS Groton (SSN 694) and USS Ohio (SSBN 726) (Gold crew). Vice Admiral Emery surfaced at the North Pole while Engineer Officer aboard USS Hammerhead (SSN 663), and circumnavigated the globe submerged while commanding USS Groton (SSN 694).

Additional assignments included division officer in USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN 619) (Blue crew); instructor and division director at Naval Nuclear Power School, Bainbridge, Maryland; Naval Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, US Atlantic Fleet; Division of Naval Reactors, Department of Energy, Washington, DC; Executive Officer USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN 685); Chief of Staff to Commander Carrier Group Seven (USS Kitty Hawk and USS Constellation Battle Groups); Deputy Director, Strike and Amphibious Warfare (OP-74); Executive Assistant and Naval Aide to the Undersecretary of the Navy, and subsequently to the Secretary of the Navy.

Following selection to flag rank, Vice Admiral Emery joined the office of the Chief of Naval Personnel first as Director Total Programming and Manpower Division, and subsequently as Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Military Personnel Policy and Career Progression. Prior to his appointment to command US and Allied submarine forces in the Atlantic, Vice Admiral Emery commanded West Coast Pacific Fleet attack submarines and facilities as Commander Submarine Group Five.

Retiring from Naval service in July 1996, Vice Admiral Emery joined Raytheon Company as Executive Vice President, then President, of Raytheon Technical Services Company. In 2000 Vice Admiral Emery and his wife Patricia returned to Maine.

The Admiral is the General Chair of the annual Submarine Technology Symposium jointly sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Naval Submarine League, and a member of the Board of Directors of Sauer USA of Stevensville, Maryland and First Support Services Inc. of Dallas, Texas. He is a Trustee of the USS Constitution Museum and a Director of the Naval Submarine League. From 2001 to 2006 Admiral Emery served on, and subsequently chaired, the Senior Advisory Group to the Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was a member of the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Subcommittee on Naval History from 1997 to 2006.

Vice Admiral Emery is the author of Historical Manuscripts in the Navy Department Library, Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 1994, which was subsequently expanded into the List of Historical Manuscripts in the Navy Department Library. He is a contributor to several published works related to the history of the US Navy including America’s Naval Heritage: A Catalog of Early Imprints From the Navy Department Library, Washington, DC: Naval Historical Center, 2000; U.S. Navy: A Complete History, Washington, DC: Naval Historical Foundation, 2003; and Leadership Embodied: The Secrets to Success of the Most Effective Navy and Marine Corps Leaders, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2005. Recent projects for the Navy Department Library include two detailed finding aids: The George Henry Preble Collection at the Navy Department Library (2006) and The Rodgers Family Collection at the Navy Department Library (2007).

His latest work, In Their Own Words: A New Look at the Naval War of 1812 was published by the Naval Historical Foundation in 2013.

The Admiral is married to the former Patricia Lillian Kershaw of Sanford, Maine. They have a son, Robert Kershaw Emery.

Vice Admiral Emery in the Navy Department Library's rare book room.

Chronology of Navy Service

July 1959 Entered the US Naval Academy as a Midshipman.

June 1963 Graduated from the US Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Science.

June-December 1963 Naval Nuclear Power School Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Maryland.

December 1963-July 1964 Nuclear Power Training Unit Windsor, Connecticut.

July 1964-February 1965 Naval Submarine School Groton, Connecticut.

February-June 1965 Naval Guided Missiles School Dam Neck Virginia Beach. Virginia.

June 1965-April 1967 USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN 619) (Blue crew).

April 1967-July 1969 Naval Nuclear Power School, Bainbridge Maryland. Instructor (Reactor Physics) & Division Director (Chemistry, Metallurgy & Radiological Controls).

July 1969-May 1973 USS Hammerhead (SSN 663) (Engineer Officer).

May 1973-July 1975 Member Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board (CINCLANTFLT).

July 1975-June 1977 USS Glenard P. Lipscomb (SSN 685) (Executive Officer).

June 1977-June 1979 Division of Naval Reactors, Department of Energy, Washington, DC (Training Program Assistant, on Admiral Rickover’s staff).

June-July 1979 Naval Amphibious School Little Creek, Virginia.

July-September 1979 Division of Naval Reactors, Department of Energy, Washington DC.

October-December 1979 Commander Submarine Force Atlantic Fleet.

December 1979-December 1982 USS Groton (SSN 694) (Commanding Officer).

December 1982-March 1983 Trident Training Facility Bangor, Washington.

March 1983-April 1983 Nuclear Power Training Unit Balston Spa, New York.

April 1983-May 1985 USS Ohio (SSBN 726)(Gold crew Commanding Officer).

May 1985-August 1987 Commander Carrier Group Seven (Chief of Staff).

September 1987-June 1988 Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Deputy Director Strike and Amphibious Warfare) (OP-74).

June 1988-May 1989 Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy (Executive Assistant).

May 1989-July 1989 Office of Secretary of the Navy (Executive Assistant).

July 1989-May 1990 Office of Chief of Naval operations (Director Total Force Programs and Manpower Division) (OP-12).

May 1990-August 1991 Bureau of Naval Personnel (Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Military Personnel Policy and Career Progression)(PERS-2).

October 1991-July 1993 Commander Submarine Group Five.

August 1993-June 1996 Commander Submarine Force US Atlantic Fleet/Commander Submarine Allied Command Atlantic.

1 July 1996 retired from Navy.

Dates of Rank:

7 July 1959 Midshipman, US Naval Academy

5 June 1963 Ensign

5 December 1964 Lieutenant (junior grade)

1 December 1966 Lieutenant

1 March 1971 Lieutenant Commander

1 June 1978 Commander

1 July 1984 Captain

1 October 1990 Rear Admiral (Lower Half)

August 1992 Designated Rear Admiral (Upper Half) while serving in billets commensurate with that grade.

1 September 1993 Rear Admiral (Upper Half)

9 July 1993 Designated Vice Admiral while serving in billets commensurate with that grade.

6 August 1993 Vice Admiral

Medals and Awards

Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with four gold stars in lieu of subsequent awards
Meritorious Service Medal with four gold stars in lieu of subsequent awards
Navy Commendation Medal with one gold star in lieu of second award
Navy Achievement Medal
Navy Unit Commendation with two bronze stars
Meritorious unit Commendation with four bronze stars
Navy “E” Ribbon with three Es
Navy Expeditionary Medal with two bronze stars
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with four bronze stars


Published: Thu Jun 08 12:10:56 EDT 2017