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King University News :: Retired Naval Intelligence Commander to Speak at King College

King College’s Security Intelligence Studies program will welcome Commander James Wilmoth, former Naval Intelligence Officer, to speak at King College on Oct. 24 and 25.  The lecture will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Kline Hall room 120 on King’s main campus in Bristol, Tenn.

“This year, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), marks 130 years of continuous operations,” said Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis, instructor and coordinator for King’s Security Intelligence Studies program.  “As America's oldest intelligence organization, ONI has played a central role in nearly every major phase of our country's military history, from the two World Wars to the Cold War and beyond.  Commander Wilmoth will help bring ONI's history to life, by relaying some remarkable stories from his time as an intelligence officer and sharing his own perspective about the role of American naval intelligence in the closing stages of the Cold War.”

Commander Wilmoth joined the United States Navy in 1966 as a drilling reservist in Kingsport, Tenn., while attending East Tennessee State University.  Upon graduation in 1970, Commander Wilmoth attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., where he was commissioned an ensign in the unrestricted line in October of that year.  Commander Wilmoth then began what was to become an almost twenty-two year Naval career.

Commander Wilmoth has served as numerous afloat and shore activities with his first assignment at Naval facility Eleuthera, Bahamas followed by two tours aboard ship including time aboard the USS Assurance (AG-521) and USS Opportune (ARS-41).  It was during these tours that the field of intelligence became of interest, and, as a result, Commander Wilmoth applied for and was chosen to transfer into the restricted line of the Naval intelligence community in 1975. 

After successfully completing Air Intelligence Officer Training in Denver, Colo., Commander Wilmoth was assigned to his first operational intelligence tour with Patrol Squadron 10, home ported in Brunswick, Maine.  During this assignment, Commander Wilmoth successfully completed two operational deployments - one to Rota, Spain, the other to Bermuda.  Upon transfer from VP-10, Commander Wilmoth was assigned to the staff of Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, Va., then to Commander of the Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces U.S. Sixth Fleet in Naples, Italy. 

Upon return to the United States, Commander Wilmoth was assigned to Commander, Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group, and Commander, Naval Surface Warfare Development Group, both in Norfolk, Va. 

During his time in the Navy, Commander Wilmoth qualified as a surface warfare officer with special designations in antisubmarine warfare, information systems, and military intelligence.

Commander Wilmoth is authorized to wear the national defense ribbon, meritorious unit commendation, Navy unit commendation, sea service ribbon, overseas service ribbon, the meritorious service ribbon (three awards), and the Navy commendation ribbon (three awards).

After almost 22 years of continuous active duty, Commander Wilmoth retired in 1991 and returned to Kingsport, Tenn., where he served as an adjunct instructor of business and computer information systems for Northeast State Community College from 1991 to 2012.  In 1993, he also began serving the Sullivan County Department of Education as senior Naval science instructor, a position he still holds. 

Commander Wilmoth graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1970 with his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, and 1989 from Golden Gate University with a dual master’s in public administration and business administration.

Commander James Wilmoth will speak on Oct. 24 and 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Kline Hall room 120 at King College.  For more information, contact Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis at 423.652.6014.