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PACIFIC OCEAN (June 18 2011) (NNS) - Jon Greenert, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent serving aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), feels pretty proud of his father these days.
On June 16, his father, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan William Greenert was nominated by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to succeed Adm. Gary Roughead as the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the Navy's top officer.
"Everybody in my family is extremely proud of him," said Special Agent Greenert. "He's progressed through the ranks and held many different positions during his 40-year career. I can't say enough about how proud we are for him to advance up to CNO."
For the younger Greenert, the Navy has always been a part of his life and he spoke of his family's passion for serving in uniform.
"My parents met when they were both naval officers in Hawaii, and my brother is the training officer aboard [the guided missile destroyer] USS Lassen (DDG 82)," said Special Agent Greenert. "I was a member of the ROTC in college with full intent to join before my own path led me toward investigations."
Special Agent Greenert found his calling as an NCIS agent. He has worked for NCIS since 2006. Before coming aboard George Washington in August 2010, he worked out of the San Diego field office, investigating felony-level offenses such as homicides and larceny. He also investigated crimes against children and sexual assault cases for three-and-a-half years.
Secretary Gates' announcement has thrusted the Vice CNO into the media spotlight, a place his son says his father is not used to, coming from a humble upbringing in the steel town of Butler, Penn.
"All of my dad's family came from Butler and Butler is a very blue collar town," said Special Agent Greenert. "My grandfather was a steelworker and a World War II veteran who served in the Army Air Corps. My dad really broke with tradition to go another route and enter the Naval Academy, but I know that my grandparents were always proud. It's a shame that they aren't around to see him make it to CNO; I know they'd be as proud as we are."
Adm. Greenert, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has a submariner rumspanning two decades. As a submariner, his career includes assignments aboard USS Flying Fish (SSN 673), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) and USS Tautog (SSN 639). He became the commanding officer of USS Honolulu (SSN 718) from March 1991 until July 1993. Adm. Greenert has also served as Commander, Submarine Squadron 11, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
If confirmed by the Senate, Adm. Greenert would be the first submariner to become CNO in 17 years.
"I wish him the best of luck," said Special Agent Greenert. "While I am biased, I think he's the right man for the job and I think he's going to do great things for the Navy."
George Washington began its summer patrol on June 12, 2011, departing its forward operating base of Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka. Onboard are more than 5,500 Sailors from George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5. George Washington's mission is to ensure security and stability in the Western Pacific and to be in position to work with our allies and regional partners to respond to any crisis across the operational spectrum as directed.
For more news from USS George Washington (CVN 73), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn73/.