Rear Admiral W. G. “Jerry” Ellis, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Undersea Warfare Chair and the Director of the Undersea Warfare Research Center, Naval Postgraduate School
Rear Admiral W. G. “Jerry” Ellis, U.S. Navy (Ret.), became the Undersea Warfare Chair and the Director of the Undersea Warfare Research Center at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, in March 2009. Prior to this, he served as the Special Assistant for Undersea Strategy in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy. As such, he was the senior advisor to the Secretary of the Navy for policy relating to the Department of the Navy’s Undersea Warfare Strategy.
After 36 years of active duty, Rear Admiral Ellis retired and entered the Senior Executive Service in June 2000, continuing on as the Director of the Deep Submergence Program and Director, Defense Liaison Division. In that position he served as the CNO’s principal advisor on Submarine Rescue, Deep Submergence Vehicles, and Deep Diving Operations.
Rear Admiral Ellis attended Georgia Tech for one year before attending the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with distinction in 1964. A career nuclear submariner, Rear Admiral Ellis served aboard the submarines USS Catfish (SS 339), USS Snook (SSN 592), USS Billfish (SSN 676), and USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN 619). He commanded USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN 631) conducting missile patrols out of Holy Loch, Scotland. In addition, he was the first Commanding Officer of USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705). He also commanded Submarine Squadron Six, which included a submarine tender and ten attack submarines. While assigned as the Chief of Staff for Commander Submarine Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet, he was selected for Flag Rank. As a Flag Officer, he served as Commander Submarine Group Ten, which consisted of all strategic submarines in the Atlantic Fleet. His final sea assignment was command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force.
Ashore, Rear Admiral Ellis served as the Director of the Enlisted Nuclear Power School in Mare Island, California. Later, as a Captain, he was the Head Detailer for all enlisted submariners and nuclear trained personnel in the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Following this, he was the Senior Member of the Atlantic Fleet’s Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board charged with inspecting and ensuring the safety of all nuclear powered ships and submarines in the Atlantic. His first tour as a Flag Officer was as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Military Application in the Department of Energy. This was accomplished during a period of great change to the Nation’s Nuclear Weapons Program. In addition, Rear Admiral Ellis has also served as the Oceanographer of the Navy and as Director, Navy Special Programs.
Rear Admiral Ellis’ personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), the Legion of Merit (five awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various service and campaign awards. As a Senior Executive, he was awarded the Meritorious Senior Executive Presidential Rank Award for 2004 and 2009. In June, 2007, Rear Admiral Ellis was presented the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the Nation’s highest award for Intelligence. Recently, the Secretary of the Navy presented him with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest Department of the Navy award for civilian service.
During his career, Rear Admiral Ellis earned a Masters Degree from Sloan School of Management at MIT as a Chief of Naval Operations Scholar. He has also attended the Naval War College and many other executive-level courses. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Naval Submarine League and is a former National Director for the Navy League of the United States. In addition, he is a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Georgia Tech Research Corporation and the Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation. He is currently serving as a member of the External Advisory Council for the Georgia Tech Research Institute and a member of the External Advisory Board for the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington.