Neighbor Profile

William (Bill) Mathis

Ahoy… the Admiral is on the Bridge… Attention on Deck!

Having been raised in a family with strong ties to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corp, it was no wonder that William (Bill) Mathis spent 33 years as a career Naval Officer. He served his country with skills and leadership that led to tremendous accomplishments and recognition for his achievements as he climbed the leadership ladder of the U.S. Navy “Surface” Division. That ladder included 25 relocations…more than any IBM’er!

Bill was born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, where he attended public school, and later graduated from the University of Maryland. During public school years when Bill was in 8th grade, he met his bride to be, Pat Winter (who was in 7th grade), and they eventually married while still in college. Upon graduation from University of Maryland, Bill received his draft notice to join the U.S. Army. Five days later, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and the journey began with his sights set on duty aboard war ships.

He attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., followed by his first surface assignment aboard the USS Blue DD744, a “2 stacker” destroyer. The Blue took them to Yokosuka, Japan, his first overseas duty station as Assistant Weapons Officer. He learned very quickly to follow the advice of his Chief Petty Officer, and a quick study paid off in a successful and enjoyable duty assignment, building valuable friendships and mutual respect with the crew. This tour was a sailor’s dream…”Join the Navy and see the World!” and the opportunity to see the South Pacific and he did!

In ’65, they returned to the U.S. and Newport, R.I. again, this time to attend the Navy’s Destroyer School. Bill’s continued training programs led to Commanding Officer assignments on various ships, including mine sweepers, cruisers, destroyers and carriers. He served in supporting leadership assignments on 2 aircraft carriers, and boarded submarines for short term assignments, with no intention to leave the “Surface” fleet. As a Senior Flag Officer his success with the Fleet leadership assignments led to numerous duty stations in Washington D.C., at the Pentagon, as well as The Situation Room at the White House. His skills and knowledge in surface warfare and boat design were highly regarded, and was often enlisted for advice and counsel by senior Navy officials, and the Sealift Command.

But there was an interim period when Bill needed to step away from the rolling seas, and 10 years into his career, he accepted an offer from Prudential Group Life Insurance Co., and worked a year and a half in sales. And, as usual, Bill built strong relationships with the team. He returned to the Navy and was given special assignments to escort several of the U.S. Presidents to various functions, and had the pleasure of personal time with some of his favorites. He retired in 1995, and continued to consult with the Navy, working with various committees on key surface warfare issues. His consulting business continued to grow into the private sector, and he has been an active voice in the LCS project at Austal Shipbuilders, Mobile in ship design and mission module packages.

The Mathis family built their final home in Josephine’s Stone Quarry development, and Bill has continued to share his management expertise and advice with the Josephine community, serving 5 years on the JVFD Board, 4 years on the Josephine Homeowners Assn. Board, and currently in his 8th year on Perdido Bay Water System Board, and very proud of their accomplishments! Bill and Pat have 2 daughters, Lisa and Laurie, and 7 grandchildren, 4 in Sydney, Australia, and 3 in Fredericksburg, VA. The Rear Admiral shares his amazing career with incredible enthusiasm and pride…and Yes, they would do it all over again…. NO REGRETS!


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