Naval Oceanography is the U.S. Navy’s leader in unmanned maritime systems operations by piloting a fleet of 150 ocean gliders, conducting daily autonomous underwater vehicle operations from six survey ships and collecting oceanographic and bathymetric observations across thousands of square miles across the world’s oceans since the 1990s. The enterprise can trace this enormous success directly to Mr. Jerry Carroll, who was inducted into the Naval Oceanography Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Dec. 12, 2019.
“Mr. Carroll is a recognized and trusted expert in undersea warfare and when you dig deep into what he built, it is truly inspiring.” said Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command (CNMOC) Rear Adm. John Okon. “He provided leadership in operational decision-making for oceanographic technology, search and survey, data collection, international partnerships and product development.”
Mr. Carroll graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in geophysics in 1958. He began working in Washington D.C., at the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) in support of the Fleet Ballistic Missile program.
In 1963, he helped develop systems used to map the wreckage of nuclear-powered attack submarine, USS Thresher (SSN-593) and a major wreck off the Aleutian Islands that could possibly detonate a nuclear explosion.
When NAVOCEANO moved from Washington, D.C., to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1978, Carroll moved to Picayune, Miss. In 1981, he became director of NAVOCEANO’s Oceanographic Department overseeing 650 civilians, 100 military personnel and a fleet of oceanographic ships and aircraft.
Naval Oceanography leadership selected Mr. Carroll in recognition of his dedication to the U.S. Navy while serving as the commander’s special adviser for undersea warfare from 1996 until 2008. For two decades, his profound leadership and technical expertise ensured the safety and security of present and future Theater Antisubmarine Warfare operations by leading the largest and most successful bilateral agreement for ocean survey mapping in the history of Naval Oceanography.
Today, he helps organize oceanographic conferences in South America, Asia and Europe. He also serves on the IEEE USA Energy Policy Committee in Washington, D.C., and the University of Mississippi Gas Hydrate Consortium as their advisory committee for Mineral Resources.
“On behalf of everyone here and the more than 2,500 naval oceanographers, Sailors and civilians around the world who follow in your footsteps, I want to let you know your legacy lives on in us and we are humbled you are with us today,” said Rear Adm. Okon.
Naval Oceanography consists of more than 2,500 globally-distributed military and civilian personnel who define and apply the physical environment, from the depths of the oceans to the stars, to ensure the U.S. Navy has the freedom of action to deter aggression, maintain freedom of the seas, and win wars.