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Vice Admiral George W. Emery was appointed the 24th Commander of the Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and the Commander Submarines Allied Command U.S. Atlantic, by President Clinton and assumed his duties on 13 August 1993. In this capacity he served as the principal advisor for submarine warfare to the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and to NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic. Prior to his final assignment, Vice Admiral Emery commanded the attack submarines on the United States Pacific coast as Commander Submarine Group FIVE in San Diego.

A native of Springvale, Maine, Admiral Emery graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1963 and attended post graduate programs at the University of Delaware and George Washington University. He served on five nuclear submarines, commanding USS Groton (SSN 694), and USS Ohio (SSBN 726) (GOLD); has surfaced at the North Pole on USS Hammerhead (SSN 663); and circumnavigating the globe while commanding USS Groton.

Additional assignments included division officer in USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN 619) (BLUE); instructor and division director, Naval Nuclear Power School, Bainbridge, Maryland; Engineer Officer, USS Hammerhead (SSN 663); Naval Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Executive Officer, USS Glenard P. Libscomb (SSN 685); duty on the Staff, Division of Naval Reactors, Department of Energy, Washington, D.C.; Chief of Staff to Commander Carrier Group Seven (USS Kitty Hawk and USS Constellation Battle Groups); Deputy Director, Strike and Amphibious Warfare (Op-74); and Executive Assistant and the Naval Aide to the Under Secretary of the Navy, and subsequently, to the Secretary of the Navy.

After selection to flag rank, Vice Admiral Emery served as Director, Total Force Programming/Manpower Division (Op-12) and subsequently as the Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Military Personnel Policy and Career Progression (PERS-2).

In addition to his assignments, he spent fourteen years cataloging Naval manuscripts. This publication, "A Catalog of Historical Manuscripts in the Navy Department Library," brought to public view a small but important collection of naval Americana which had been largely unknown to scholars, professional navy people, and others interested in the history of the U.S. Navy.

Admiral Emery's decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (five awards), Meritorious Service Medal (five awards) and several other individual, unit and service awards.

Since retiring from the Navy, Admiral Emery joined Raytheon Technical Services Company as president and senior vice president of Raytheon Training and Services business segment. Raytheon Company, headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, is an international high technology leader providing state-of-the-art products and services in the areas of commercial and defense electronics; engineering and construction; and business and special mission aircraft. Raytheon has operations throughout the United States and serves customers in more than 80 countries around the world.

Admiral Emery is also president of the Advisory Council to the Navy Submarine League, vice president of the Naval Historical Foundation, a member of the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Subcommittee on Naval History and serves on the Board of Trustees of the USS Constitution Museum.

Admiral Emery is married to the former Patricia Lillian Kershaw of Sanford, Maine. Their son Robert, a former U.S. Army Apache helicopter pilot and squadron commander, daughter-in-law Amy and granddaughters Elizabeth Ann and Natalie reside in Ashburn, Virginia.

 

1999-pres.

President, Raytheon Technical Services Company

1998-1999

Senior Vice President, Raytheon Systems Company; Deputy General Manager Training & Services Segment

1996-1998

Executive Vice President Raytheon Service Company, Defense Services

1993-1996

Vice-Admiral, U.S. Navy. Appointed 24th Commander of the Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander Submarine Allied Command Atlantic by President Clinton.

1991-1993

Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy. Commander Submarine Group Five, U.S. Pacific Fleet

1989-1991

Rear Admiral (lower half), U.S. Navy Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel for Manpower Policy and Career Progression

1988-1989

Executive Assistant and Aide to the Undersecretary of the Navy and subsequently the Secretary of the Navy

1985-1987

Chief of Staff, Carrier Group Seven; USS Constellation and USS Kitty Hawk Battle Groups

1983-1985

Commanding Officer, USS Ohio (SSBN-726), first of the Trident nuclear strategic submarines

1980-1982

Commanding Officer, USS Groton (SSN 694), a Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarine; circumnavigated the world submerged in 1980

1963-1979

Various assignments in the nuclear submarine Navy including duty on Admiral Rickover's staff in Washington D.C., and Chief Engineer of the nuclear attack submarine USS Hammerhead (SSN 663) during her 1970 polar expedition

1963

Married Patricia L. Kershaw , Sanford High School, class of 1961

1959-1963

U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; graduated with distinction

1955-1959

Sanford High School; Governor of Maine's Dirigo Boys' State (1958); salutatorian, class of 1959


SHS Hall of Fame Profile: Vice Admiral George W. Emery
by Mike Higgins, Sanford News, p.1
May 18, 2000

SANFORD - A typical around-the-world cruise conjures up images of luxury cruise ships, exotic ports of call, and starry nights spent on deck.

Not on George Emery's around-the-world cruise however.

As skipper of the submarine U.S.S. Groton, Emery circumnavigated the globe, but he never got to spend one night under the stars.

The reason? He was underwater for the entire cruise.

Emery led the Groton on a six-month cruise which took the submarine from Groton, Conn. to the Indian Ocean, Australia, through the Panama Canal, and finally back to Connecticut. With the exception of the brief time spent in port, and the trip through the Panama Canal, the Groton was submerged the entire trip, making it only the second U.S. Navy submarine to circumnavigate the globe while underwater.

The list of Emery's accomplishments is a long and distinguished one. He has been on a submarine that has traveled under the polar ice cap, he was the commander of the first Trident missile sub, the U.S.S. Ohio. After retiring from the Navy in 1996 as a vice admiral, Emery joined Raytheon Technical Services Co., where he is currently the president.

It is for his many accomplishments during his career in the U.S. Navy and with Raytheon that Vice Admiral George W. Emery has been selected as an inaugural member of the Sanford High School Hall of Fame.

Reflecting on his days at SHS, Emery says," I remember it fondly. It was a good time."

He was a member of the SHS tennis team, the band, and he attended Boy's State, where he was elected governor. "A very enjoyable period," says Emery.

It was also a time where the seeds of Emery's naval career were planted.

Emery cites his godfather, Albert Prosser, as a major influence in his career choice. Prosser was a career submariner who retired from the Navy in 1947, after spending most of World War II in the Pacific Ocean.

"I darn well knew I wanted to go into the Navy, and I knew I wanted to go into submarines because of Captain Prosser," says Emery.

Judy Nicolosi, a classmate of Emery's and the daughter of fellow SHS Hall of Famer Carl Broggi, recalls an incident that sums up Emery's dedication to his dream. She remembers being in sophomore English class with Emery, and he was reading the book "Run Silent, Run Deep," a classic World War II submarine yarn.

"He said this is what I'm going to do," says Nicolosi. "I'm going to be in the Navy."

Emery was so sure of his naval aspirations that his entry in the SHS yearbook states that his goal was to become an admiral.

After graduating from SHS in 1959, Emery began pursuing his dream by entering the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

It was a meeting during his senior year in 1963 with Admiral Hyman Rickover, considered the "father of the nuclear Navy," which gave Emery his start in nuclear submarines. Rickover, who was in charge of the Navy's nuclear submarine program, approved Emery's request to enter the program.

Upon his graduation from the academy, (and after a brief trip back to Sanford to marry his high school sweetheart, the former Patricia Kershaw), Emery went to the Navy's academic nuclear power school in Bainbridge, Md.

After six months in Bainbridge, Emery began a six-month assignment training at an active nuclear reactor in Windsor, Conn.

When that assignment was completed, Emery went on to submarine school in Groton, Conn. "After nuclear power training, it was pretty easy," says Emery.

In 1965, Emery reported to his first assignment on a submarine, the U.S.S. Andrew Jackson, a ballistic missile sub. As a junior division officer, Emery says that he "learned everything there is to know about submarines."

After a two year tour back at the nuclear power school, where he was a teacher, Emery reported to the U.S.S. Hammerhead, where he was an engineer.

In 1970, Emery was aboard the Hammerhead when it undertook a 2 1/2 month mission to cruise under the polar ice cap and surface at the North Pole. The purpose of the mission was to test the capability of the Hammerhead's torpedoes under ice.

Emery says that the polar ice is typically 10 to 30 feet thick, but at one point during the mission, the Hammerhead had to submerge far enough to clear an ice pinnacle which was 250 to 300 feet deep.

According to Emery, the crew of the Hammerhead had to constantly keep track of where the pockets of shallow ice were, because the sub would need have a place where it could break through the ice in case of a fire or any other emergency.

When the Hammerhead's sail punched through ice at the North Pole on Nov. 20, 1970, Emery says, 'I was the first one out on the ice."

Emery says that besides the sound of the wind, the atmosphere at the pole was unlike anything he had ever experienced, calling it, "The definition of silence."

In June, 1977, Emery was sent to the Department of Energy Division of Naval Reactors, as a training program assistant. This assignment gave Emery a chance to work directly with Rickover, the man who gave him his start in nuclear submarines.

"It was an opportunity to get to see a person (Rickover) who was a great hero of mine in action," says Emery. "It was one of the privileges of my career to work with him."

After completing his assignment with Rickover, Emery took command of the U.S.S. Groton, his first command assignment.

It was while he was on the Groton where Emery became only the second submarine captain to circle the globe while submerged.

The six-month voyage took the Groton from its home port in Groton, Conn. to the Indian Ocean. From there the Groton traveled to Perth, Australia, marking the first time a submarine from Connecticut had visited western Australia. "It was an absolutely incredible week," says Emery.

After leaving Perth, the Groton traveled underwater to the Panama Canal, where it surfaced while it traveled through the canal. When it was through the canal, the Groton went back under the water for its trip back to Groton.

According to Emery, during this mission, the Groton was submerged for approximately 148 out of the 186 days it took to circle the world.

Emery was also aboard the U.S.S. Groton during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. The Groton stayed under the water for 87 days while was supporting ships involved in a mission to rescue the hostages being held at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

The next submarine that Emery was assigned to was the U.S.S. Ohio, the first Trident nuclear strategic nuclear submarine.

Emery took the Ohio to sea to perform the first Trident missile test in the Pacific Ocean. The Ohio fired four missiles which landed on target at the test range. This test proved that the Trident missile could be programmed to hit a target without any guidance from the submarine once it has been fired.

When he left the Ohio, Emery's career took a turn that was unusual for a career submariner. He was asked to become the second-in-command of Carrier Group 7, which consisted of the aircraft carriers Kittyhawk and Constellation, among others. "I got to know the rest of the Navy," says Emery.

Emery says that after a career in submarines, which he says is like "living with 135 people in the space of a typical two-story, four-bedroom home," life on an aircraft carrier with 5,000 people was "almost like living in a small town."

Following his time with the carrier group, Emery went to the Pentagon, where he had several jobs, including a stint as an executive assistant to the Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III. While he was working with Garrett, Emery had a brush with Hollywood.

Garrett asked Emery to review the script of the film "The Hunt for Red October" for the Department of the Navy. "I thought it was fantastic," says Emery. That opinion was not unanimous in the Emery household however, "My wife thought it would go nowhere," laughs Emery.

Emery and his wife got the opportunity to visit the set of the movie, and meet Sean Connery, who starred in the film.

"We were in the control room of the Red October, standing at the navigation table, and out came Sean Connery in his Russian captain's uniform, and (my wife) Pat just melted," Emery recalls. Emery says that meeting Connery was a great experience, "He's a wonderful guy," he says.

Returning from the Hollywood Navy to the U.S. Navy, Emery went from the Pentagon to San Diego, Calif. becoming the commander of Submarine Group 5. Emery was in charge of 15 subs, and 7,000 people.

In August 1993, Emery became the Commander of the Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Commander Submarine Allied Command Atlantic. A position which Emery describes as the "senior operational sub job in the country." Emery was in charge of all of the submarines in the Atlantic, including NATO subs. He had 60 U.S. and 50 NATO subs as well as 22,000 U.S. sailors, a dozen surface ships and 3 major naval bases under his command.

In June, 1996 Emery retired from the Navy after 33 years of service. "I wanted to leave at the top of my career," says Emery.

He joined Raytheon in 1996, where he ran defense services for the company. He eventually rose to the presidency of Raytheon Technical Services, one of the largest corporations in the world. "I enjoy it very much," says Emery.

However, Maine is still in Emery's blood, and when he retires Aug. 1, he will return to Maine and the home he and Pat are building in Kennebunk. "It's very exciting to be able to come home after all these years," says Emery.

Like his around-the-world mission on the Groton, Emery left from Maine, traveled around the globe, and has returned home again. "Join the Navy and see the world is very true," Emery observes.

 

 

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