USS L. Y. SPEAR (AS-36) Association                 



If you have any information on the SPEAR's Commanding Officers, or if any former Commanding Officers have revised biographies that they would like to submit, please contact the webmaster.

Command At Sea designation

Commanding Officers


Feb 1970 - Aug 1971

Ralph M. Ghormley, Capt., USN
  Aug 1971 - Jun 1973 John M. Donlon, Capt., USN
  Jun 1973 - May 1975 Ross N. Williams, Capt., USN
  May 1975 - May 1977 David A. Phoenix, Capt., USN
  May 1977 - Aug 1979

Ernest J. Toupin, Jr., Capt., USN

  Aug 1979 - Sep 1981

John H. Kinert, Capt., USN

  Sep 1981 - Aug 1983

Robert F. Kelly, Jr., Capt., USN

  Aug 1983 - Jun 1985 John F. Whelan, Jr., Capt., USN
  Jun 1985 - Jul 1987 Leon E. Everman, Capt., USN
  Jul 1987 - Jun 1989 Thomas L. Parry, Jr., Capt., USN
  Jun 1989 - Mar 1991 Charles E. Ellis, Capt., USN
  Mar 1991 - Apr 1993

Jay M. Cohen, Capt., USN

  Apr 1993 - Jul 1995 Jack M. Davis, Capt., USN
  Jul 1995 - May 1996 Paul J. Ryan, Capt., USN

May 1996 - Sep 1996

J. J. Paulson, Capt., USN

Ralph M. Ghormley

February 1970 - August 1971

Capt. Ralph M. Ghormley

Captain Ralph M. Ghormley, USN, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, reared in Rochester, Minnesota, and commissioned as an Ensign, U.S. Navy, upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1949.  After service in USS ORLECK (DD-866), he attended Submarine School.  From 1951 to 1955 he served in the submarines SEA FOX and HARDHEAD.  In 1957 after completing post graduate education in command communications, he served on the Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron Five and in the submarines RATON and SEA FOX.  After completing Nuclear Power Training in 1961, he reported to the BARB (SSN-596) as Executive Officer.  In 1963 he assumed command of the nuclear attack submarine SCORPION (SSN-589) and while so serving, he was twice awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for outstanding performance of duty.  In August 1965 he assumed command of the Polaris submarine SAM RAYBURN (SSBN-636), after which he commanded Submarine Division Fifty-Three for one year before his present assignment as PCO, L. Y. SPEAR.

Captain Ghormley is married to the former Sara McKnight of Cleveland, Ohio.  They presently reside with their two children in Virginia Beach, VA.

Obtained from USS L. Y. SPEAR Commissioning Ceremony Book (1970)

...In 1971, he was assigned as Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics Management on the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet.  In June 1973, he was designated as Rear Admiral while providing Naval Control of Shipping support for the Commander, U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  In 1975, he was assigned as the Deputy Commander, Planning, Programming and Resources Management Directorate of the Naval Electronic Systems Command in Washington, D.C.

In 1976, RADM Ghormley was assigned as Deputy Director, Operations for the Defense Communications Agency, Washington, D.C.  Following this tour, he briefly served as an Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, before assignment as the Commander, Naval Telecommunications Command, Washington, D.C.

After retiring from Naval Service in 1983, RADM Ghormley pursued interests in the Defense Industry around Washington, D.C. until his latest retirement in 1994.

RADM Ghormley's awards include the Legion of Merit with Gold Star (in lieu of second award), the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with one Gold Star (in lieu of the second award), the Navy Expeditionary Medal, the China Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal with "ASIA" Clasp, the National Defense Medal with one Bronze Star (in lieu of second award), the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

RADM Ghormley is married to the former Sara McKnight of Cleveland, Ohio, and has two children.  He and Sara currently reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Obtained from USS L. Y. SPEAR Decommissioning Ceremony Book (1996)

Back to top

John M. Donlon

August 1971 - June 1973


Back to top

Ross N. Williams

June 1973 - May 1975

Capt. Ross N. Williams

RADM Ross N. Williams, USN (Ret.), was born May 13, 1927 in the Bronx, New York.  He grew up and lived most of his life in New York City.  RADM Williams enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 5, 1944.  He entered the U.S. Naval Academy on June 17, 1947 and graduated with the Class of 1951 on June 1, 1951. 

Following graduation, he served on the escort destroyer USS Norris (DDE-859).  He then attended submarine school and served on the USS Halfbeak (SS-352), USS Albacore (AGSS-569), and was selected for post graduate studies in Oceanography at the University of Washington Seattle, Washington, followed by a new construction assignment as engineer of the USS Barbel (SS-580).  He then attended Advanced Nuclear Power School in New London, Connecticut, and the A1W Prototype at the Naval Reactor Facility, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  He was then assigned to the USS Seawolf (SSN-575) and the USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625)(Blue). After completing the Prospective Commanding Officer Training at NavSea 08 in Washington, D.C., he was assigned as Commanding Officer of the USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640) (Gold) and Commanding Officer of the USS Tecumseh (SSBN-628) (Blue). 

His next assignment was in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, in Washington, D.C., as the Undersea Long Range Missile System (ULMS)(OP-97C)/Trident Program Coordinator, Head Trident Program Coordination Branch (OP-315/-211), and then as Commanding Officer of the USS L. Y. Spear (AS-36), in Norfolk, Virginia.  He was then assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Military Deputy for Strategic and Space Systems, Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E/USDRE), Washington, D.C., followed by his final posting as the Oceanographer of the Navy and Deputy to the Administrator of NOAA, DOC, Washington, D.C.

RADM Williams' awards include: Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two gold stars for second and third award, Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, American Theater Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Medal, European Clasp, Navy Expeditionary Medal, and National Defense Service Medal w/ Bronze Star for second award. 

RADM Williams retired from the Navy on August 31, 1981.  He joined Ocean Data Systems, Inc.(ODSI) as Director Space Programs, and then scientific consultant/VP and GM ODSI/Global Weather Dynamics Inc.-SA, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ODSI.  In 1986 he joined the Ball Aerospace Systems Division as Director of the Washington Office. 

RADM Williams and his wife, Helen, are residents of North Potomac, Maryland.  Their son, Paul, and his wife and two grandsons live in Alice Springs, NT Australia.

Submitted by RADM Ross N. Williams, USN (Ret.)


Back to top

David A. Phoenix

May 1975 - May 1977


Back to top

Ernest J. Toupin, Jr.

May 1977 - August 1979

    Capt. Ernest J. Toupin, Jr.

Captain Toupin was born in Passaic, New Jersey, on 11 August 1930.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1948, was selected for Naval Academy Preparatory School, and graduated from the Naval Academy, Class of 1955.

After serving two years aboard the USS RANKIN (AKA-103), he entered Submarine School in July 1957.  He then reported to the USS QUILLBACK (SS-424) where he earned his dolphins.  Captain Toupin was selected for advanced nuclear power training in March 1959 and on completion of that training reported to the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (SSBN-600) as a member of the commissioning crew.  In February 1963, Captain Toupin reported to the USS JAMES MADISON (SSBN-627) as Commissioning Crew Engineer Officer where he served until September 1965.

After his tour as Engineer Officer, Captain Toupin served as Executive Officer aboard the USS SKIPJACK (SSN-585) until March 1968 and as Executive Officer of USS FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (SSBN-657) from March 1968 to August 1969.

Following Prospective Commanding Officer's Training, Captain Toupin relieved as Commanding Officer of USS LAFAYETTE (SSBN-616)(BLUE) and conducted five deterrent patrols from March 1970 to June 1972.  He reported in July 1972 as Commanding Officer of USS JAMES K. POLK (SSBN-645)(GOLD) for end of overhaul and conversion, shakedown operations, and two Poseidon Patrols.  Captain Toupin has commanded a total of fourteen strategic deterrent patrols.

In August 1974, Captain Toupin was assigned to the Staff of Commander Submarine Squadron SIX as Deputy Commander for Readiness.  Captain Toupin has been Commanding Officer of USS L. Y. SPEAR (AS-36) since May 1977.  Captain Toupin's next duty assignment will be on the JOINT STRATEGIC TARGET PLANNING STAFF at OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE in Omaha, Nebraska.

Captain Toupin is authorized to wear the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of a second award, Navy Expeditionary Medal and the National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star in lieu of a second award.

Captain Toupin is married to the former Marian Thatcher of Cranston, Rhode Island.  They have four sons: Michael, Paul, Raymond and Craig.

Obtained from USS L.Y. SPEAR Change of Command pamphlet (10 August 1979)

Back to top

John H. Kinert

August 1979 - September 1981

Capt. John H. Kinert

Captain Kinert graduated from the Naval Academy in 1956.  His assignments have included USS LOFBERG (DD-759), USS TERRELL COUNTRY (LST-1157) and three Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines.  He commanded the USS CASIMIR PULASKI (SSBN-633) (GOLD), completing six strategic deterrent patrols as Commanding Officer. 

Captain Kinert reported to L. Y. SPEAR from the Staff of U.S. Commander in Chief, Europe and Supreme Allied Commander, Europe where he served as Special Assistant.

Captain Kinert has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Metal with gold star in lieu of second award, the Battle Efficiency "E", China Service Medal (extended), National Defense Medal with one bronze star and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one bronze star.

Captain Kinert is married to the former Barbara Mary Bridges of San Mateo, California.  They have two children, Kimberly and Kent.

Obtained from USS L. Y. SPEAR 1980 Indian Ocean Cruise Book

Following his Navy career, Mr. Kinert held teaching positions at the University of California-Berkeley; City University, Belleview, WA; Chapman College, Bangor, WA; and Olympic College, Bremerton, WA.  He was also active with the Boy Scouts of America and the Rotary Club organizations.

Compiled from resume on file at Olympic College

John "Jack" Kinert died of cancer on April 25, 2003, and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


Back to top          

Robert F. Kelly, Jr.

September 1981 - August 1983

Capt. Robert F. Kelly, Jr.

Captain Robert F. Kelly Jr. graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1961.  His initial assignment upon commissioning was in the Weapons Department aboard USS MANLEY (DD-940).

Since entering the Submarine Force in 1962, Captain Kelly has served aboard five submarines and completed 20 FBM deterrent patrols.  During his assignment as Commanding Officer, USS SAM RAYBURN (SSBN-635), he was twice awarded the Submarine Squadron Fourteen Battle Efficiency Award.  In December 1969, Captain Kelly received a Master's Degree in Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.  In 1982, Captain Kelly was awarded a Master's Degree in Management of Human Resources by Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  Captain Kelly's next assignment will be as a participant in Harvard University's Advanced Management Program.

Captain Kelly is married to the former Anne B. Smith of Cresskill, New Jersey.  Captain and Mrs. Kelly have four children.

Obtained from USS L.Y. SPEAR Change of Command pamphlet (1983)

 Back to top

John F. Whelan, Jr.

August 1983 - June 1985

Capt. John F. Whelan, Jr.

Captain John F. Whelan, Jr. graduated from high school in Abington, Massachusetts in 1955.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1955 and attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School at Bainbridge, Maryland prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1956.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in June 1960, he served for fifteen months aboard the destroyer USS KENNETH D. BAILEY (DDR-713) prior to entering the Naval Submarine School, New London, Connecticut.  Upon graduation he attended the Nuclear Power School, New London in 1962 and completed training at the Nuclear Power Training Unit, West Milton, New York in March 1963.

In April 1963, Captain Whelan was assigned to the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (SSBN-602) and completed five deterrent patrols while serving as Main Propulsion Assistant, Electrical and Reactor Control Officer, Damage Control Assistant, Communicator and Sonar Officer.  He also served as Commissioning Engineer on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER (SSBN-656)(GOLD), Assistant Nuclear Power Officer on the Staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Engineer of the USS HALIBUT (SSN-587), and Executive Officer of the USS SEA DEVIL (SSN-664).

In August 1973, Captain Whelan reported to the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.  Upon graduation in January 1974, he underwent training as Prospective Commanding Officer and assumed command of US TINOSA (SSN-606) on 9 December 1974.  Captain Whelan commanded USS TINOSA (SSN-606) through a two and one-half year refueling overhaul in Pascagoula, Mississippi and subsequent Mediterranean deployment from September 1978 to February 1979.  He was relieved as Commanding Officer, USS TINOSA on 29 April 1979.

Captain Whelan reported to the staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in May 1979 as Operations Officer and was assigned as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations from May 1980 to July 1983. 

Captain Whelan has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal and is authorized to wear the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Award and the Polaris Deterrent Patrol Insignia (seven patrols).

Captain Whelan is married to the former Miss Mary Jane Sunday of Clearfield, Pennsylvania.  The Whelan's have four sons: Richard, Daniel, Steven and Christopher.

Obtained from USS L.Y. SPEAR Change of Command pamphlet (1983)

After his tour aboard the USS L. Y. SPEAR (AS-36), Captain Whelan was ACOS Operations/ Plans/Intelligence at Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet from September 1987 until his retirement from the Navy in September 1989, held aboard the SPEAR.  He worked in commercial nuclear power at Portland General Electric and Dominion-Virginia Power from September 1989 to July 1994.  He also worked as a civilian at Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Plans until October 2004, and is currently fully retired.


Back to top  

Leon E. Everman

June 1985 - July 1987

Capt. Leon E. Everman

Captain Leon E. Everman, U.S. Navy, a 1960 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, first served in the destroyer USS GAINARD (DD-706) before attending Submarine School.

Following completion of Submarine and Nuclear Power Training in mid-1963, Captain Everman was assigned to the commissioning crew of the USS NATHAN HALE (SSBN-623) and served in the GOLD crew.  He then served in the USS HENRY CLAY (SSBN-625)(GOLD), on the staff of Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and as Executive Officer of USS JOHN C. CALHOUN (SSBN-630)(BLUE).

Captain Everman commanded USS GEORGE BANCROFT (SSBN-643)(BLUE) from 1974 until 1977 and subsequently served as Off-crew and Predeployment Training Officer on Commander Submarine Group SIX staff and as Commander Submarine Squadron FOUR Deputy for Training.  He was then assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations where he served in the Combat Systems Section of the Fast Attack Submarine Division.  Captain Everman served as Commanding Officer, Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Training Center, Charleston, South Carolina, from June 1983 to June 1985.

Captain Everman's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star in lieu of the second award, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal with two Gold Stars, in lieu of the second and third awards, and the National Defense Medal.

Obtained from USS L.Y. SPEAR Welcome Aboard pamphlet (1985)

Back to top

Thomas L. Parry, Jr.

July 1987 - June 1989

Capt. Thomas L. Parry, Jr.

Back to top

Charles E. Ellis

June 1989 - March 1991

Capt. Charles E. Ellis

Captain Charles E. Ellis is a native of Texas. After receiving a draft notice, he enlisted in the Navy in November 1961, and later attended the University of Texas at Austin under the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program, graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was commissioned after completing Officer Candidate School.

Capt. Ellis served in a variety of submarine billets, including command of USS Skipjack (SSN585), USS Louisville (SSN724) and USS L.Y. Spear (AS36). His duty ashore included a tour on the staff of Submarine Group FIVE, during which he earned a Master of Science Degree from Chapman University, and a tour as Commanding Officer of Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA, from which he retired in December 1992. Capt. Ellis was employed as Provost of a Distant Learning Center of Georgia Military College until October 1997.

His decoration and awards include: Legion of Merit with 2 Stars, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Stars, Navy Commendation Medal with 2 Stars, Navy Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation with 2 Stars, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 3 Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Star, Good Conduct Medal and Navy "E" Ribbon.

Capt. Ellis is married to the former Judy Stevens of Crowley, Texas. They have two daughters, Sue Armstrong, Deputy Chief of Staff for the Under Secretary for Information Analysis and Infra-Structure in Homeland Security, and Mary Gautreaux, Missionary at Chi Alpha, a Christian Organization at Sam Houston State University and a third grade teacher.

Since relocating to Huntsville, Capt. Ellis has been an adjunct instructor for Lee College Huntsville Center and for Montgomery Community College at the Woodlands. He taught mathematics at Huntsville High School until retirement in 2004.

Obtained from

Back to top

Jay M. Cohen

March 1991 - April 1993

Capt. Jay M. Cohen               Jay M. Cohen

Department of Homeland Security, Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Jay M. Cohen is a native of New York. He was commissioned in 1968 as an ensign upon graduation from the United States Naval Academy. He holds a joint Ocean Engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Master of Science in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture from MIT.

His early Navy assignments included service on conventional and nuclear submarines. From 1985 to 1988 Cohen commanded USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN-709).

Following command, he served on the U.S. Atlantic Fleet as a senior member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, responsible for certifying the safe operation of nuclear powered ships and crews.

From 1991 to 1993, he commanded USS L. Y. SPEAR (AS-36) including a deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation DESERT STORM.

After Spear, he reported to the Secretary of the Navy as Deputy Chief of Navy Legislative Affairs. During this assignment, Cohen was responsible for supervising all Navy-Congressional liaison.

Cohen was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in October 1997 and reported to the Joint Staff as Deputy Director for Operations responsible to the President and DoD leaders for strategic weapons release authority.

In June 1999, he assumed duties as Director Navy Y2K Project Office responsible for transitioning all Navy computer systems into the new century.

In June 2000, Cohen was promoted in rank and became the 20th Chief of Naval Research. He served during war as the Department of the Navy Chief Technology Officer (a direct report to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps). Responsible for the Navy and Marine Corps Science and Technology (S&T) Program (involving basic research to applied technology portfolios and contracting), Cohen coordinated investments with other U.S. and international S&T providers to rapidly meet war fighter combat needs. After an unprecedented five and a half year assignment as Chief of Naval Research, Rear Admiral Cohen retired on February 1, 2006.

Under Secretary Cohen was sworn in to his current position at the Department of Homeland Security on August 10, 2006.

Obtained from U.S. Department of Homeland Security website

Back to top

Jack M. Davis

April 1993 - July 1995

Jack M. Davis

Jack M. Davis, 59, is senior vice president and chief nuclear officer at Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan. Detroit Edison is one of three major business units of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Davis is responsible for Detroit Edison’s nuclear power generation, which includes the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant, a 1,100-megawatt boiling water reactor located in Newport, Mich. The facility employs about 900 workers and produces approximately 15 percent of the power generated by Detroit Edison.

Prior to joining Detroit Edison, Davis served as site vice president at Dominion Energy’s North Anna Power Station where he led the Station to high levels of safety and performance. The plant was consistently recognized as one of the country’s best nuclear facilities. Davis joined Dominion Energy in 1997 and held several leadership roles in the company’s nuclear operations area before being named vice president. Prior to his tenure at Dominion, Davis served as an officer in the United States Navy. He served as commanding officer of the fast attack submarine, USS Baton Rouge and the submarine tender USS L.Y. Spear.  During his distinguished naval career, Davis served in a wide variety of positions on submarines and in supporting roles, including a Pentagon assignment on the Staff of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the Commanding Officer of the Nuclear Power Training Unit in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Davis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Obtained from DTE Energy website

Back to top

Paul J. Ryan

July 1995 - May 1996

Capt. Paul J. Ryan

RADM Ryan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1973.  He obtained his Masters Degree in National Security Affairs, a US Naval War College degree, and a Russian language diploma from Defense Language Institute.  He attended the Harvard University Executive Program for Senior Officials in National Security and MIT Seminar XXI.

Pursuing a career in submarines. RADM Ryan’s first ship was USS Sam Rayburn (SSBN 635) (GOLD), where he served three years in various engineering billets, then served as the Engineer on USS Tullibee (SSN 597), Navigator and Operations Officer on the USS Groton (SSN 694), and as Executive Officer on the USS Boston (SSN 703).  He commanded the USS Philadelphia (SSN 690) from 1989 to 1992, completing three major deployments, including participation in Operation Desert Storm.  During his command tour the USS Philadelphia was awarded two Meritorious Unit Commendations, the Battle Efficiency "E", the CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor Award, and two Silver Anchor Awards.  He later commanded the submarine repair ship        USS L. Y. Spear (AS 36).

Ashore, RADM Ryan served several tours in Washington, DC:  Military Assistant to the Principal Deputy and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Engineering, and Systems), Branch Chief in the Division of Naval Warfare (OP-701) and the Navy Reorganization Transition Team (N83), Central and East European Branch Chief and European Division Chief on the Joint Staff (J-5), Director Operational Support Division (N23), Deputy Director of the Navy Quadrennial Defense Review Office (N8C), Strategic Submarine and Maintenance Branch Chief, Submarine Warfare Division (N871), Senior Navy Fellow on the Secretary of Defense Strategic Studies Group, and Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations for Long-range Planning (N09V).

In August 2000, RADM Ryan assumed his first flag assignment as Director, Warfare Programs and Readiness (N8) on the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.  In January 2002 he assumed command of Mine Warfare Command in Corpus Christi, Texas.

RADM Ryan's awards include: the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four Gold Stars), Meritorious Service Medal (Silver Star), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (one Gold Star), and Navy Achievement Medal.

Obtained from

Back to top

John J. Paulson

May 1996 - September 1996

Capt. John J. Paulson

A native of Racine, Wisconsin, Captain Paulson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1971.  He attended the University of California, Davis-Livermore under the Immediate Graduate Education Program, receiving a Masters Degree in Engineering Applied Science in 1972.

Following graduate school, he attended Nuclear Power School in Idaho Falls, Idaho in 1973.  He attended the Submarine Officers Indoctrination Course at Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific in October 1973 and reported to USS POGY (SSN-647) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  While serving on board USS POGY from November 1973 to April 1977, he completed submarine qualification, served as Main Propulsion Assistant, Damage Control Assistant, Non-nuclear Overhaul Work Coordinator and Weapons Officer.  He reported to Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Florida as an officer instructor in May 1977.  Following this tour, he served aboard USS SKATE (SSN-578) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from June 1979 to May 1982 as Engineering Officer.

After attending the Prospective Commanding Officer's Course, Captain Paulson reported as Executive Officer of Precommissioning Unit ALABAMA (SSBN-731) in July 1983 and served on the Blue Crew during her shakedown operations after commissioning in May 1985.  He then commanded USS PHILADELPHIA (SSN-690) from September 1986 to May 1989.

He served in Naples, Italy as the Submarine Group EIGHT Operations, Plans and Intelligence Officer from June 1989 to December 1991.  From December 1991 to May 1994, he was assigned to the OPNAV Staff as the Submarine Maintenance Section Head.  In June 1994, he assumed command of USS EMORY S. LAND (AS-39).  In May 1996, he assumed command of L. Y. SPEAR.

Captain Paulson is entitled to wear the Legion of Merit with one Gold Star, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with one Gold Star, Navy Achievement Medal with one Gold Star, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation with three Bronze Stars, Battle Efficiency "E" Award with four Silver "E"s, the Navy Expeditionary Medal and other awards.

Captain Paulson is married to the former Leslie Paolocci of Racine, Wisconsin.  They reside in Norfolk, Virginia with their sons, Stephen and Andrew.

Obtained from USS L. Y. SPEAR Decommissioning Ceremony Book (1996)

Back to top



About the Ship
About the Crew
  Ship's Company
  Commanding Officers
  In Memoriam
  Cruise Books
  SPEAR Points
  Contact Info



This website is best viewed at 1280 x 768 resolution

This page last updated on 09/01/2017.

Copyright © 2017 USS L.Y. SPEAR (AS-36) Association.  All rights reserved.