Darlington grad promoted to US Navy Commander

October 11, 2018--8:51 a.m.


Navy Lt. Cmdr. William R. Monk, III, a 1998 Darlington High School graduate and Rome, Georgia, native was recently promoted to Navy Commander serving at Commander Task Force 69, Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet in Naples, Italy.

When asked what this promotion means to him, Monk said, "After six years of active duty submarine service and a yearlong active duty recall to Djibouti, Africa, I wanted to continue serving in the Navy, and sought an alternative way to balance my professional and personal lives. While the Navy is a dynamic profession, I believe a commitment to service is a Navy Reserve hallmark and this promotion will allow me to continue to serve as a more senior officer for many more years. I’ve completed four multi-week Anti-Surface Warfare missions overall Europe this year and this promotion means increased leadership and responsibilities, which translates to even more exciting and adventurous real world ASW missions in the future."

Monk, who has 15 years of total service, seven years active duty and eight years in the reserves, is the CTF-69 Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) Officer and Battle Watch Captain. He is responsible for maintaining the European theater anti-submarine warfare common operating picture for the command and facilitating the deployment of assets to search and track contacts of interest. Specifically, this year he conducted 92 days of ASW mission-critical support to CTF-69 over an operationally challenging year by leading the ASW and High Value Unit protection teams for five weeks onboard the USS IWO JIMA and USS Harry S. Truman as the CTF-69 Liaison Officer during a major joint exercise with the Israel Defense Force and Operation Inherent Resolve in the Eastern Mediterranean. Another eight weeks, providing watch team assistance, command, and control of ASW assets, and BWC experience for the CTF-69 submarine staff in Naples, Italy.

In addition to his civilian profession as a nuclear engineering Reactor Inspector for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he's committed to serving our nation as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve. As a new commander currently assigned to Navy Operational Support Center Atlanta, his reserve duties include serving as a Battle Watch Captain and Theater Anti-submarine Warfare watch officer for CNE-CNA/C6F in Naples, Italy.

"What I enjoy most are the adventurous missions out to deployed ships and working with the onboard ASW teams," Monk said. "For example, flying from Atlanta to Israel and getting picked up on a beach by a Land Cushion Air Craft to take me onboard an Amphibious Assault ship or flying into Greece and boarding a COD to land on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the Mediterranean. Being a former Trident submarine officer, I never experienced a port call. During these two ASW missions this year, I got my first Navy port calls in Haifa, Israel and Souda Bay, Crete and saw how the rest of the Navy conducts business."

"I missed the honor and camaraderie of being in the active Navy and the reserves provides a way for me to continue serving, but also be there for my family and the Atlanta community; it is the best of both worlds," Monk added.

"Cmdr. Monk is ready for increased leadership and responsibility, specifically a commanding officer billet," said commanding officer of CTF-69, Capt. Scott Wall. "He has continued to impress by becoming the go-to person for high profile ASW missions onboard active vessels in the 6th Fleet area of operations."

CTF-69 is responsible for planning and coordinating area submarine and anti-submarine warfare operations in the Mediterranean. Specifically, Task Force 69 is composed of attack submarines that provide capability to destroy enemy surface ships and submarines, as well as protect other Sixth Fleet ships from attack.

Serving in the Navy has made Monk a better overall person both professionally and personally.

"My active duty time on a Trident nuclear submarine, being deployed to Djibouti, and the connections I’ve made with other reserve officers opened the door to my civilian employment," Monk added. "I’ve had the honor of serving the public in two fashions: military defense and ensuring the public’s safety and security protection from civilian uses of nuclear power. I’m only able to do this because my two employers understand one another and work with me to balance all the duties of being a nuclear engineering Reactor Inspector, Submarine Warfare Reserve Officer, husband, and father of two boys. The Navy has made me a better overall person by constantly reminding me of what is means to be an American and how important is it to stand up for freedom for all people around the globe. The pride of serving our country, being a part of something much bigger than myself, and maintaining the U.S. Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment is most rewarding. When a person surrounds himself with people who are more intelligent, highly professional, and overall squared away, that person naturally gets better and I can honestly state that has been true for me and I owe my success to the U.S. Navy, U.S. NRC, and my family."

Monk graduated in 2003 from Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor's of science degree in Electrical Engineering. He also graduated from Old Dominion University in 2008 with a master's degree in Engineering Management.

Monk is the son of Wade and Gayle Monk from Rome, Georgia. His wife, Ashley, and two sons, Thompson (10) and Jonathan (7), all reside in Atlanta, Georgia.

He has two grandfathers who both served in WWII.

One grandfather, William R. Monk, I, (97), served in WWII as a Navy Officer and still going strong on his farm in Sylvester, Georgia. His other grandfather, the late Chester Robinson, from Conyers, Georgia, served in WWII as a Navy Petty Officer. 

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