Senior Chief Yeoman (Submarines) Robert Cox of Wakefield, Michigan retired from the U.S. Navy on 1 May 2004 after completing 24 years 5 months and 7 days of service to our country. Cox joined the Navy at the military processing center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 6 November 1978 and was placed in the Delayed Entry Program. On 29 June 1979 he entered boot camp at Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois as a Seaman Recruit and member of the "Milwaukee Brewers Ball Company 136". Upon completion of basic training in August 1979 he attended the Basic Enlisted Submarine School course of instruction in Groton, Connecticut and was entered into the submarine service. His first sea duty assignment was aboard the ballistic-missile submarine USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (SSBN 600) in October 1979 where he earned the silver Enlisted Submarine Breast Insignia. Cox supported USS SAM HOUSTON (SSN 609) (recently re-designated as an SSN) in a temporary duty status in November/ December 1980. One week prior to decommissioning ROOSEVELT he was advanced to Yeoman Third Class under the Command Advancement Program.
In April 1981 Cox attended Yeoman "A" School at Naval Technical Training Command, Meridian, Mississippi. This was followed by New Construction duty aboard PRE-COMMISSIONING UNIT FLORIDA (SSBN 728) in May 1981 at General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division, Groton, Connecticut. During this period, in a temporary duty status, Cox made one strategic deterrent patrol aboard USS ANDREW JACKSON (SSBN 619) (BLUE), at Holy Loch, Scotland. Cox’s first shore duty assignment was as an Allied Command Europe courier at Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe, Kolsaas, Norway from April 1983 to April 1985.
In September 1985 Cox was assigned to the diesel-electric submarine USS DARTER (SS 576), homeported in Sasebo, Japan where he served as Administrative Officer. DARTER, a Seventh Fleet asset regularly participated in naval exercises with the Japanese and Korean navies, visiting Yokosuka and Kure Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and Guam. From February 1988 to April 1990 his administrative duties continued when he served aboard the ballistic-missile submarine USS NEVADA (SSBN 733)(BLUE) at Naval Submarine Base, Bangor, Washington where he completed four strategic deterrent patrols (3, 5, 7, & 9). In 1990, Cox was assigned to Nuclear Field "A" School, Naval Training Center, Orlando, Florida where he served as Student Control Supervisor. He was advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer on 16 September 1990.
In April 1993, Cox was assigned to the fast-attack submarine USS PASADENA (SSN 752) homeported in San Diego, California. Cox completed two six-month Western Pacific deployments aboard PASADENA, deploying to the Persian Gulf in 1993 and 1995, visiting Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Singapore, Australia, and Canada. Cox’s next assignment was as Personnel Officer at Naval Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut in March 1996. In May 1998 he was advanced to the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer. His last sea duty assignment started in January 1999 when he was assigned to the fast-attack submarine USS HELENA (SSN 725) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine. Change of homeported took HELENA through the Panama Canal and to San Diego, California. Aboard HELENA Cox completed one six-month Western Pacific deployment and visited Guam, Japan, Korea, and Singapore.
On 17 September 2001 Cox reported to Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California as Administrative Officer. Due to an administrative outsourcing realignment he was reassigned to Deep Submergence Unit, Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, in January 2003 where he served until his retirement on 1 May 2004.
Cox is entitled to wear the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (seven awards), Navy Good Conduct Medal (six awards), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (six awards), Enlisted Submarine Breast Insignia, and the SSBN Deterrent Patrol Pin with four gold stars and numerous other Campaign, Unit and Service Awards.
Cox, a 1979 graduate of Wakefield High School in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, received an Associate in Applied Science degree in Administrative/Management Studies from Excelsior College in 2004. He resides in Murrieta, California with his wife Cely and daughter Ivy.