|CAPT Joker Lee Jenkins
Captain Joker Lee Jenkins is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1989, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Following nuclear power training he reported as Reactor Electrical Officer on USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72) in Alameda, CA deploying twice to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation DESERT STORM, and qualified Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Engineer. His second division officer tour was as commissioning Navigator on USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DDG-56), and after a commissioning ceremony that included former President George H.W. Bush and Senator McCain in Bath, ME, he sailed MCCAIN to Pearl Harbor, HI; also on MCCAIN he served as liaison officer with the Russian Navy in Operation COOPERATION FROM THE SEA 1995.
His first department head tour was as Combat Systems Officer on USS O’BANNON (DD-987) in Mayport, FL, deploying once to the Arabian Gulf. He then served as Main Propulsion Assistant on USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) in San Diego, CA completing his fourth Arabian Gulf deployment.
His Executive Officer tour was first onboard USS ELLIOT (DD-967) in San Diego, CA, followed by USS FLETCHER (DD-992). As part of the Navy’s DD Sea Swap Program ELLIOT was decommissioned and the crew assumed FLETCHER and completed Arabian Gulf and Horn of Africa deployment in support of Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. He then assumed command FLETCHER up thru her decommissioning.
Shore assignments include the NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER in White Oak, MD in the Experimental Explosives Test and Development Branch. Following his division officer tours he was selected for a JOINT CHIEF’S OF STAFF INTERNSHIP and served as Deputy Legislative Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, providing direct liaison and support during Congressional Hearings and Unified Commander’s Posture Testimonies and Confirmations. He also served as a WHITE HOUSE MILITARY SOCIAL AIDE supporting the President’s White House Military Office. He earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies with a specialty in Far East Asia affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, RI. This was followed by selection as an Associate Fellow to the Chief of Naval Operations STRATEGIC STUDIES GROUP working on developing the FORCEnet and SEAPOWER 21 concepts. Following his Command-at-Sea tour, he was selected as Deputy Executive Assistant to COMMANDER, UNITED STATES FLEET FORCES COMMAND (USFFC), providing direct support to man, train, and equip naval forces worldwide. Recently he was Officer-in-Charge Nuclear Power Mobile Training Team (NPMTT) for COMMANDER, NAVAL AIRFORCES PACIFIC Force Nuclear Propulsion, responsible for maintaining the nuclear propulsion readiness and training of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet Aircraft Carriers.
He was the 16th Commanding Officer of USS GARY (FFG-51) as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in Yokosuka, Japan operating in Asia and the Western Pacific. He led transition of GARY from Seventh Fleet to Third Fleet in San Diego as part of the FFG/DDG Hull Swap program undergoing a 70-percent personnel transfer between the FFG/DDG crews and then conducting a trans-Pacific transit.
He reported to USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD6) as executive officer in February of 2012 and completed a hull swap with USS Essex (LHD2) in April. He took command of Essex on Nov. 16, 2012.
Personal Awards include the Legion of Merit, four Meritorious Service Medals, a Joint Staff Commendation Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. In 2010, he was awarded the Asian American Engineer of the Year, recognized as one of 22 top engineering leaders in private-sector, academic, and governmental institutions across the nation.