John  Williams
LT
USN

Name John Williams

Gender Male

Date of Birth December 14, 1995


Position Weapons Officer

Rank Lieutenant


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Last Post 08 Mar 2022 @ 11:43am


Characters / John Williams

Lieutenant John Williams

Physical Appearance

At 5'8" and 145 pounds, John Williams is physically fit, but surprisingly nondescript.


Personality

John Williams is best described as very organized. He has checklists for a ton of things. Even his seabag and his bunk/personal space aboard ship would be "everything has its place". Detail-focused, but not obsessive; his viewpoint has been expressed to younger officers as "See the sea? The sea would happily kill you. Follow the checklists and you might not die." It was told to him by a company officer at Annapolis, and he took it to heart.

It shows in his work - he's methodical, seemingly slow to act until you realize he continually looks 3 steps ahead both in his work and his personal life. His intelligence shines through in those moments; he's thinking on levels he can't always explain, but clearly seeing things others might miss.

The problem is, he quietly feels like a total impostor. He recognizes he's been talent-spotted, but has zero idea why or what he did that made him successful. This leads him to sometimes unnecessary caution, both personally (if you don't know why you got where you are, why would you risk it all?) and professionally (He has no idea why his chain of command likes him, just that they do; While he could care less about advancement, he knows it's a necessity and so he tends to not let himself relax and 'smell the roses').


History

It was a cold day in December 1995 when John Williams was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, along the Jersey Shore. If you’d asked the obstetrician who delivered him, he’d have predicted a bright future for the loud little boy. Nobody would have predicted he’d join the Navy, though.

As it turned out, as John grew, he was identified as, at a minimum, intellectually gifted. Some might say a genius, but the paperwork was, as always, more conservative. For all his intelligence, he was a pretty normal kid - went to his local public schools in Ocean Township, New Jersey, had the normal childhood and adolescent adventures of a Jersey Shore kid; his intelligence didn’t keep him from making friends, either - and attempting sports. He was not a natural at athletics, however, and on the Jersey Shore, athletics were usually how you got noticed. So it was a surprise when he applied for nominations to the US Naval Academy and US Military Academy, alongside looking at civilian colleges. It was a bigger surprise when he won appointment as a Midshipman in the USNA class of 2017. It made sense, though, when he’d explained why he’d chosen a service academy:

His Dad had only recently retired as an Army Civilian, an engineer working in acquisition at nearby Fort Monmouth. Dad was never one to think of it as more than a job, but his son had grown up hearing stories; Good days were ones where the Soldiers in the field benefited from the work done, and the worst days were when mistakes in a design hurt the Soldier. That had planted the idea that, maybe, the military was somewhere he could see himself.

When he was five, just entering kindergarten, 9/11 had happened. He not only had seen the planes hit the Twin Towers, and the towers fall, on TV (no matter how much his parents had tried to have him not see it), he’d grown up with family acquaintances being sent to, or returned from, Iraq and Afghanistan. He’d learned how leadership mattered.

At the same time? He wasn’t clueless. It’d make his family a hell of a lot happier if he was not as likely to be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. The Navy seemed like a good compromise between his desire to serve and his family’s desire for safety, so long as he didn’t get it in his head to become a Marine.

As it turned out, he wouldn’t do badly as a Midshipman. Some would even say he thrived on the Yard. In May 2017, he would graduate with a political science major, 15th in the class on the Order of Merit List, and a 3.90 GPA out of 4.0, with his final cadet leadership post as a battalion commander in the Brigade of Midshipmen. Branch Night had him sent to Submarines, which was OK with him.

Nuke School and NPTU nearly broke him, but he survived. He passed with good marks, he did well enough to still have a bright future in submarines, but nuclear physics was not his friend. SOBC made up for it, though - he was a standout there.

His first tour was aboard USS Illinois, SSN-786, homeported in Pearl Harbor. It was a busy time for the new Ensign, but he established himself as a solid performer; during the sub’s deployment to the Western Pacific, he built enough of a solid rapport with his Sailors that he was the one who, in a sad vote of confidence, talked a not-well-adapting Sailor out of a suicide attempt long enough to get him to agree to an emergency evacuation to a carrier, and from there to a shore hospital. But he was one division officer among many, in that sense.

It was his shore tour, 18 months as a Flag Aide to the two-star admiral who was Commander, Submarine Force Atlantic, where he would really get noticed, then. He had and has no particular clue why they’d picked him, but it was fortunate for him that they had.

He was a hard worker, to begin with, working 8 hours a day for the Admiral and doing graduate school in his off-hours to get his civilian Master’s degree. At the same time, it turned out that his boss liked having “my office geek” on hand - not only had then-Lieutenant JG Williams kept up language fluency he’d gained as a kid and improved upon as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy, he’d also kept up his knowledge of international relations and domestic politics enough to engage with the briefers, foreign officers, and Congressional staffers sent the Admiral’s way - something that, as an award narrative for the Navy Achievement Medal he’d been awarded at the end of the tour put it, “contributed quietly yet immensely to the achievement of the Command’s objectives”. Officially, this was through good staff work; Unofficially, it was through being “the guy who explained Congressional politics and DOD bureaucracy to officers clueless in either” while being patient enough to explain it again and again.

With that kinda record, his selection for Submarine Officer Advanced Course in Groton, to begin as soon as his graduate degree was officially awarded, followed by his Department Head tour, was basically assured. He proved skilled at the management and tactical tasks required of a department head in his courses, and was thereon assigned as Weapons Officer to Pre-Commissioning Unit Arizona (SSN-803), beginning in September 2024. What’s next? Well, that’s what he’s hoping to find out.


Service Record

July 2013-May 2017 Midshipman, US Naval Academy: BSc Political Science, Class Rank 15th, GPA 3.90/4.0

June 2017-October 2019 Ensign: Student, Naval Nuclear Power School (Charleston SC); Student, Naval Power Training Unit (Charleston SC); Student, Submarine Officer Basic Course (Groton CT)

October 2019-June 2022: Ensign/LT(JG): Fire Control Officer, USS Illinois (SSN-786)

July 2022-March 2024: LT(JG)/LT: Flag Aide, COMSUBLANT (Commander, Naval Submarine Force, Atlantic), Norfolk VA

March 2024-September 2024: Student, Submarine Officer Advanced Course (Groton CT)

September 2024-Present: Weapons Officer, USS Arizona (SSN-803), homeport NB Kitsap, Kitsap WA