Jim Frederick’s strong work ethic guided his Navy years

MADISON – In Jim Frederick’s work philosophy, any job has parts you don’t like and some you love. People you like, and people you may not like. “You need to adapt and work with them,” he said.

Before graduating from high school, Frederick joined the U.S. Navy with the Delayed Entry Program in March 1983. His active-duty entry date was March 2, 1984.

“I went to Boot Camp in Orlando, Fla (facility no longer exists). Remaining in Orlando, I completed Basic Electricity and Electronics (BEE) school and then Advanced Electricity and Electronics School at Orlando’s Naval Training Center,” Frederick said.

He transferred to Great Lakes Naval Training Center in north Chicago and attended Fire Control “A” School; this training concerned placing ordinance on a target, not firefighting. Training involved RADAR Theory, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, cooling systems and more. Then, Frederick attended “C” School for advanced training for a specific system.

“I finally received orders to my first ship, USS NIMITZ CVN-68, a nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier,” Frederick said. He completed at-sea training evolutions, leading to a North Atlantic cruise where he crossed the Artic Circle and earned the “Realm of the Artic Circle” Blue Nose certificate.

“We conducted our duties within the Mediterranean. We maintained our presence inside the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s claim of the whole Gulf of Sidra and his ‘Line of Death,’” Frederick said.

Frederick’s port visits included Palma, Mallorca; Toulan, Cannes and Nice in France; Monaco, Monte Carlo; Naples and Rome, Italy; and Alexandria and Giza, Egypt to see the Great Sphinx and Pyramids.

“I was promoted to FC3 (E-4). (This time) made the biggest impact of my young life,” Frederick said.

The Fredericks drove from Virginia to Bremerton, Wash. and completed his tour on-board USS NIMITZ. He transferred to his first shore duty in Long Beach, Calif. There he overhauled guns systems and occasionally radar systems. After three years, he was promoted to FC2 (E-5) and received orders to USS ANTIETAM CG-54.

“I extended an extra year aboard her. The Commanding Officer and Executive Officer (were) great leaders who took care of their people. Some Sundays, we slowed down enough to fish off the fan tail,” Frederick said.

After more courses and learning all aspects of the ship, Frederick was promoted to FC1 (E-6). At Fleet Training Center – San Diego, he earned NEC 9502 as qualified Instructor for PHALANX Weapon system and continued training to reach NECs 1169 and 0334 and promotion to FCC (E-7).

Frederick received orders to USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN CG-57, where he served 3.5 years. As a senior enlisted officer, he was mentor, trainer and occasionally disciplinarian.

On the West Coast, he deployed often, including Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea boarding merchant ships to search for contraband, along with ports such as Yokosuka, Japan; Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong; Singapore; Thailand; Guam; India; United Arab Emirates; Australia sites; Mexico; Pearl Harbor; Alaska; and Canada.

He continued at his final Duty Station in Louisville, Ky and was promoted to FCCS (E-8). “With contacts I made and work I’ve done, I (got) a job with Raytheon. I’ve worked for them 15 years now.”

Frederick earned many awards, which included Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2) and Achievement Medal (2); Meritorious Unit Commendation (2); National Defense Service Medal (2); Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (4); Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal; Secretary of the Navy Letter Of Commendation; and numerous others.

Frederick retired as Senior Chief Petty Officer (FCCS) (E-8).

“I grew up in the country, a little town of Durango, Iowa with about 50 people. We were Rural Route 1 on a gravel road,” he said. Working on his grandfather’s and uncles’ farms nurtured his work ethic and dedication to finish a job.

With a Raytheon transfer, the Fredericks moved to the Madison area in November 2013.

He and wife Dana have been married for 37 years. “Dana’s time in the military was likely more difficult than mine, especially with kids — a daughter and son. She is retired from retail — another tough job,” Jim Frederick said.

He belongs to American Legion, Post 229; VFW, Post 2702; and Raytheon RTXVETS Employee Resource Group.

Helping Madison American Legion, the Fredericks volunteered to update maps of Madison’s four cemeteries with 500-plus veterans. Existing maps were not entirely accurate. The Fredericks’ work will help volunteers easily locate each veteran for flags on Memorial Day and Veterans Day and wreaths at Christmas.

The Fredericks have been season ticket holders for Huntsville Havoc for nine years and attend Trash Pandas baseball games. They enjoy stock car races, Huntsville Speedway, North Alabama Speedway and browsing in antique stores.

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Digital version of The Madison Record – Feb. 28, 2024

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