CAPT Lindberg’s Speech

Capt. Chris Lindberg hands Capt. Tom Anderson a special award. Photo source: Capt. Jerry Logan


Good afternoon and welcome again to the Decommissioning Ceremony for the USS BREMERTON. This ceremony is a culmination of over 45 years the BREMERTON has been actively part of the United States submarine force. From her Keel laying on May 8, 1976, Commissioning on March 28, 1981 to this Decommissioning ceremony. It has been an eventful 45 years and we do not have time at this moment to even scratch the surface of all the stories and memories that were made by the over 1600 sailors who served in her. We are here today though to honor all of those stories and memories. I have come to learn over the last couple of years how strong the BREMERTON bond is. Having talked with alumni organizers and meeting some of the plank owners who came here to wish her farewell I know why BREMERTON is the American Classic.

As we all know we are in unique times and for this reason this ceremony is being held with limited attendance, but it is being live streamed and there is a group of alumi who are gathered at the Horse and Cow in Bremerton, watching this ceremony and paying their respects to an important part of their life. I would like to take this time to thank our guest speaker CAPT United States Navy Retired Tom Anderson the first Commanding Officer and plank owner for representing all previous officers who have served in Bremerton and Sonar Technician Submarines Senior Chief United States Navy Retired and plank owner, Gregory Carroll who is here in the audience representing all previous enlisted personnel and the first Chief of the BOAT Master Chief Paul Gagnon who passed away last year.

Both CAPT Anderson and Senior Carroll served aboard the Bremerton at her commissioning, and I feel it is appropriate to bookend this ceremony with sailors who served in her from the first underway through to today, commemorating the 40 years of commissioned service the crew and submarine BREMERTON have given for our country.

As I said we are live streaming this and I have received numerous emails from prior BREMERTON sailors expressing their fondness and stories of their time on board the Bremerton. From watching the space shuttle taking off when Bremerton was moored in Port Canaveral, to the comradery cemented in foreign port calls. The one thing that holds true is the connections the BREMERTON sailors made with each other and the bonds that formed during their service together. That is why we are here today, to remember those who have come before to revitalize the memories, so the BREMERTON lives on.

I would like to take a few moments to thank the final crew who has stood the watch during the final push to reach this point. As all the active-duty submariners here know we live a very much a “semper gumby” way of life. We take what we know should happen and prepare for what may happen because what should happen definitely will not be what does happen. That is the spirit of all submariners, and it is very true of the current crew. In your pamphlet for today’s ceremony, you will find a list of submariners standing watch on the Bremerton today. I am not going to read each name, but I would like you to open and read the names. Each one is a hero. They came to BREMERTON knowing they would be completing the decommissioning as the final crew but were given a schedule that would change week to week and sometimes from one day to the next. Through all of that unknown they have stood the watch, they drained all the fluids, depressurized all systems, secured the electrical power and emptied all the lockers. They have finished the job.

Another group that I would also like to personally thank today is the families. They are the unsung heroes, the bedrock, our foundation that allow us, the sailors, to do what we do. As we gather amongst shipmates and retell stories of the adventures at sea, don’t forget to listen the family stories as well. I know some of the family stories make what we had to deal with at sea seem minor. We, the sailors, sometimes forget in our rush to head out sea the true impact our nomadic life can have on them, and they are as much a part the BREMERTON story as the sailors. From PCS moves while the boat is deployed to family emergencies while the boat is in radio silence they maintain our homes ready for when we return. Please join me in a round of applause for the spouses, children, parents, grandparents and all other family members who have supported BREMERTON sailors these last 45 years.

In closing, as I said we are here to celebrate the history, that is the BREMERTON. The history of the BREMERTON is the sailors. I am a believer that the soul of the any ship is the crew that lives, eats, and breathes on board. They stand watch on the coldest days of the year to the sun scorched days in faraway places. When equipment breaks, they respond to determine the cause, find the parts (or in some cases make the part) to get the mechanical beast operating at full capability. The crew is the BREMERTON! As we pay homage and bear reverence to executing the ceremonial hauling down of the Ensign and securing of the watch for the last time, we recognize the decommissioning of the submarine BREMERTON. BREMERTON will be stricken from the records of the commissioned Warships and will await her final disposal. Our job today and the days and years to come will be to keep the BREMERTON tradition alive! She will live on in the story’s shipmates tell each other, parents tell their children, and grandparents to their grandchildren. Thank you.


Copyright © 2019 -2021

Senior Enlisted Plankowner to attend Ceremony

Senior Enlisted Plankowner at Commissioning to attend the Decommissioning Ceremony

On May 18th, 2021 for the USS Bremerton’s (SSN-698) Decommissioning Ceremony at Keyport, Washington, a senior enlisted plankowner was selected to take one of the rare seats available.  This year was not possible to have more than 50 participants/attendees due to the strict COVID safety regulations observed by the Navy.

With respect to the late Bremerton plankowner and Chief-of-the-Boat, CMDCM(SS) Paul H. Gagnon, one seat was offered to the most senior enlisted man present at the Commissioning who also is expected to attend the Decommissioning Reunion in Bremerton.

When retired Senior Chief Gregory Carroll signed up to join the reunion in Bremerton, little did he know what was in store for him. He expected to be reunited with several of his fellow shipmates and plankowners including STSCS(SS)  Gordon “Gordy” Jennings USN (ret.) (a “Son of Bremerton”) and  ETCS(SS) Donald Jones  USN (ret.), but Senior Chief Carroll was then STS1(SS) Greg Carroll on the day of Commissioning (and with respect to other requirements set forth by the current Command) was selected to represent all enlisted plankowners and alumni who are unable to attend the ceremony in person.

Other Plankowners expected to attend the reunion are retired Navy submariners, CAPT. Tom Anderson, USN (ret), the first Commanding Officer of USS Bremerton (who is expected to speak at the ceremony), Conrad Bilgrien,  John Brunkalla, ICC(SS) Clemon Cager USN (ret.) , Frank Hamilton, Sean Hankin, CDR. Karl Jensen USN (ret) ,  Jeff Johnson, Thomas McPhillips, EMC(SS) Timothy Payne USN (ret.),  John Scanlan, CAPT. David Withers USAF (ret), and ICC(SS) Russ Woods USN (ret.).



Here’s a brief bio on our guy…


Gregory V. Carroll STSCS(SS) USN Ret.


Gregory was born in 1954 and raised in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. He enlisted in the Navy in March 1975.

After completion of Submarine Sonar “A” School at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center Pacific he reported to the USS Thomas Jefferson SSBN-618 Blue where he served from Dec 1975 until Jan 1978. He then returned to FLEASWTRACENPAC to attend Sonar “A-2” and “C” Schools and AN/BQQ-5 Advanced Maintenance Practices from Mar 78 until Mar 79.

In Dec 78 he married Jolyn Carter who was from Eagle, CO.

He reported to the PCU Bremerton SSN-698 in Apr 79 and served on her until May 1982 as a Sonar Supervisor.

Greg Carroll and Capt. Tom Anderson.

Gregory then received orders to COMSUBPAC Staff and was assigned to the Tactical Weapons Training and Certification Team until July 1984.

In Aug. of 1984 he reported to COMNAVSEASYSCOM where he was the Sonar representative on the SUBACS Operability Review Team (SORT) and worked on the Seawolf SSN-21 design and arrangements.

Greg Carroll makes Chief accompanied by his wife, Jolyn.

Gregory then reported to PCU San Juan SSN-751 serving as Sonar Leading Chief Petty Officer and the Combat System Departmental LCPO.

Dec 1988 he again reported to COMNAVSEASYSCOM where he served as Chief Engineer for RADM Doug Volgenau PEO-Submarine Combat and Weapons Systems until 1993 where he was transferred to PMS-450 the Virginia Class Submarine Program Office.

Gregory retired from the Navy in July 1995.

After retiring from the Navy Gregory continued to support the Virginia Class Program Office working as a contractor at several different companies.

Gregory and Jolyn have 1 daughter (Alissa) who was born in Hawaii in 1982.

Gregory retired totally in October 2015. He and his wife Jolyn currently live in Dumfries, VA and spend their winters in Boynton Beach, FL.

Submarine Sonar Chief Gregory V. Carroll


All photos of Greg Carroll are courtesy of Gregory and Jolyn Carroll

Note: Please direct any corrections or typos to: SUBJ: TYPOS

Copyright © 2019 -2021