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CHIPS Articles: Information Professional Plankowner Retires After 29 Years of Service

Information Professional Plankowner Retires After 29 Years of Service
By Petty Officer 2nd Class William Sykes, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. TENTH Fleet - April 30, 2019
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (NNS) –Following a Navy career that spanned nearly three decades, Capt. James Mills requested permission to go ashore for the last time at a retirement ceremony held at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C., April 26.

“We will be sad to see James go with all that he has done for us,” said Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare and Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler, during his presiding remarks. “James has incredible talent. Not only are you looking at an individual who has mastered his skill and his profession like no other, he also expanded that way beyond the typical bounds of an information professional officer.”

Mills, a native of Filer, Idaho, graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Science and Political Science. He earned a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Command and Staff diploma from the U.S. Navy War College. He also served as the Navy’s first Federal Executive Fellow to Carnegie Mellon University.

Director, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)/Commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Department of Defense Information Network (JFHQ-DODIN), Vice Adm. Nancy Norton, spoke to Mills’ character and about his accomplishments during his time in the Navy.

“He has helped to build, change, and develop every part of our Navy Information Warfare Community (IWC),” said Norton. “Organizations, culture, strategy, and execution -- James has been in the center of every bit of it. He is the epitome of humility, commitment, and effective leadership, built on trust, character, and compassion. You have left a positive imprint on so many of our lives across the Navy and the Joint Force in each role you have held.”

Navy retirement ceremonies are time-honored traditions that feature military gestures of respect and gratitude for the departing Sailor.

After Norton’s remarks, Kohler awarded Mills the Legion of Merit (Gold Star in lieu of the Fourth Award) for his accomplishments during his last tour of duty as the special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), where he worked to develop future Navy IWC implementation initiatives and opportunities at sea for Navy Information Warfare Officers.

During his career, Mills served aboard a diverse set of commands, ships, and units all over the world. His sea duty tours included USS Long Beach (CGN 9), Carrier Strike Group Ten (CSG 10), and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).

In major command, he served as Commander, Task Force 1070, and Commanding Officer, NIOC Hawaii, where he commanded over 2,600 personnel across the Asia Pacific from the U.S. west coast to the Middle East. He most recently served as Chief of Staff, FCC/C10F.

Vice Adm. Timothy “T.J.” White, commander, FCC/C10F, spoke to the audience of Mills’ accomplishments as a former commander of NIOC Hawaii and impact to the Navy’s IWC.

“I got orders to be the J2 at then-U.S. Pacific Command, and I was the happiest guy in the world because James Mills was the commanding officer of NIOC Hawaii,” said White. “I had the opportunity to observe what he had done, what he was doing, and what we were able to do together for a year. It was truly extraordinary.”

Mills spoke to the audience at the end of the ceremony, thanking those who made the day possible, thanking his family for their continued support and spoke a little about his career.

“Susan and I have been blessed in many ways,” said Mills. “The tours as commanding officer at NIOC Hawaii and chief of staff at FCC/C10F were amazing. They were amazing places, not just because of the geography, but because of the people. I also gained an appreciation for my cryptologic brethren and the incredible contributions they make to the protection of our nation, whether on the sea, under the sea, or in cyberspace.”

Mills is married to Susan Mills of Bellevue, Washington, and they have two children: Olivia and Ethan. Mills personal awards include various personal and campaign awards. He was awarded the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion Commendation Medal, the SPAWAR Lightning Award, the Copernicus Award, the MacArthur Foundation Award, and the Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award. In 2016, Captain Mills was appointed an Honorary Chief Petty Officer by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.

FCC is responsible for Navy information network operations, offensive and defensive cyberspace operations, space operations and signals intelligence. Comprised of over 14,000 Sailors, Reservists and civilians stationed across the world, C10F is the operational arm of FCC and executes its mission through a task force structure similar to other warfare commanders.

For news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/FCCC10F or Twitter: @USFLEETCYBERCOM.

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills, special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), speaks during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service.  U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills, special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), speaks during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills (right), special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), is presented a certificate of appreciation by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare / Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler (left), during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills (right), special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), is presented a certificate of appreciation by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Warfare / Director of Naval Intelligence, Vice Adm. Matthew Kohler (left), during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, Vice Adm. Timothy "T.J." White (left), speaks during a retirement ceremony for Capt. James Mills, special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, Vice Adm. Timothy "T.J." White (left), speaks during a retirement ceremony for Capt. James Mills, special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills (right), special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), is presented the American flag by Command Master Chief Dee Allen (left), command master chief, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) Capt. James Mills (right), special assistant for information warfare, Chief of Naval Operations (N2/N6), is presented the American flag by Command Master Chief Dee Allen (left), command master chief, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, during his retirement ceremony at the United States Navy Memorial. Mills retired after 29 years of honorable service. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Sykes
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