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“The World Famous Blue Sharks” (1943-1993) PATRON SIX“
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Commander Gary B. James

Commander Gary B. James

Commander Gary B. James is a native of Virginia, Minnesota. He graduated from Richfield High School in Minnesota, and holds a B.S. degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in June, 1963 and was assigned to HS-812, NAS Twin Cities, until his NROTC commissioning as an Ensign in August, 1969. 

Designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1970, his initial assigment was to VP-46, NAS Moffett Field, California. While in VP-46 he deployed to Guam, Japan, the Philippines and Diego Garcia. During his tour, he served as Legal, Assistant Quality Assurance, Leadership/Retention and NFO Training Officer.

In August, 1974, Commander James commenced a brief tour with VP-90, NAS Glenview. He served as the NFO Training Officer and Tactical Coordinator/Mission Commander. Returning to active duty in June 1975, Commander James was assigned to a CNO Special Project in Washington, D.C. 

His next assignment was to USS KENNEDY (CV-67) as Assistant Navigator. While onboard, he qualified as Officer of the Deck and Surface Warfare Officer. During this tour, the USS KENNEDY (CV-67) deployed to the Mediterranean. 

Commander James was again ordered to Washington, D.C. in December 1979 as Flag Lieutenant and Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Personnel. 

In February, 1982, he returned to the VP community flying the P3C Update II.5 with VP-8 and served as the Assistant Maintenance Officer and Administrative Officer. While attached to VP-8, the squadron deployed to Bermuda and Sicily, winning the Battle "C" CINCLANTFLT Golden Anchor, Navy Unit Commendation and Meritorious Unit Commendation. 

In February, 1984, Commander James returned to Washington, D.C. was Head of the Officer Promotion Plans Section in the Office of the Chief of Naval Personnel, where he served until reporting to VP-6 in March of 1986. 

During his Naval Career, Commander James was awarded numerous decorations and campaign ribbons, including three Meritorious Service Medals. Commander James is married to the former Jennifer Smith of Edina, Minnesota. Their children are Cari, Deena and Scott.