Retiring From Sea Duty Vs. Shore Duty
One of my classmates from SOAC, CDR John Kropcho III, was relieved as CO of USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) on Friday, and retired at the same ceremony. John's career was fairly unique, in that this was his 3rd sea tour aboard the Jacksonville; he had also done his JO and XO tours on the boat.
I haven't heard from John in a while, but I'm intrigued by his decision to retire at the end of a sea tour, especially considering the boat just returned from a six-month Atlantic deployment about 4 weeks ago. Normally, you see people retire from shore duty; this gives them a chance to do some job hunting while they're still on active duty, as well as making the scheduling of the required seminars / medical appointments easier. On the other hand, it would seem that being a CO might give one good connections within the boat's namesake city/state, and this could lead to some good opportunities. I'm sure John did what was right for himself, and I wish him Fair Winds and Following Seas as he embarks on the next phase of his life.
So what do you think? From what type of duty is it optimal to retire? Are there advantages to retiring from sea duty that I haven't thought of?
Update 0646 17 Dec 08: Pictures from the change of command / retirement ceremony are here and here.