Retired Three-Star Commissioned Naval Officer Ends up in North Dakota after 36 Years of Service

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He Shares his Story

This man moved 18 times over the course of 36 years, all in service of our country.

He began in small-town Ohio and ended up in the great state of North Dakota.

We’ll introduce you to a retired three-star commissioned naval officer, who told us, he did all for the love of his family.

Imagine spending virtually 40 years on a boat with the US Navy.

Retired Vice Admiral Phil Wisecup didn’t spend the entire time on the boat, but it would be a familiar sight for him, after 36 years on active duty.

James ‘Phil Wisecup shares, “I loved it, I loved going to sea. And you’re right, I mean we deployed many times to the Persian Gulf and the mine fields, and Desert Storm, fighting fires on John F. Kennedy. That’s part of the job. But going to sea is what I loved to do.”

Vice Admiral Wisecup was en route to the Taiwan missile crisis in 1996.

He adds, “Radio call from my boss saying, ‘Hey Phil, change of plans. We’re all going east to Taiwan’. Okay, so he said, ‘You’re going first’.”

In the early 2000s, he was the Director of the White House Situation Room under President George W. Bush.

Wisecup explains, “25 years in the Navy, I was used to fast-paced, but that was a very different animal. That was one of the most interesting things that I’ve done is to help the team, a very big team, that redesigned the situation room.”

He says working as a Commanding Officer, you have to make difficult decisions every day, and you don’t always get it right, but Wisecup never questioned his position, his duties or the institution he worked for all those years.

He shares, “Beyond a bridge wing on a ship at sea is challenging and very fulfilling.”

Since retiring from active duty a few years ago, Wisecup has been working as the Vice Chancellor of strategy for state universities.

After growing up in farm country, he’s just enjoying meeting the people of North Dakota.

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