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City of Bartlesville

Posted: Nov 09, 2018 11:34 AMUpdated: Nov 09, 2018 12:01 PM

Surface Warfare Officers Trained by Bartlesville Native

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Garrett Giles

Lieutenant Commander Eric Rolfs applies the lessons learned from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to become one of the most elite surface warriors.

Rolfs says some of the lessons he learned from his family and from playing sports in Bartlesville helped him to see the respect that people have for each other. He says Bartlesville is a friendly place, and that he took that with me into the military.

Those lessons, along with training and application learned during Rolfs’s 14 years of naval service, turned into an opportunity to teach the most innovative tactics of surface warfare at Surface Warfare Officers School, located in Newport, Rhode Island.

Considered one of the Navy’s greatest assets, the instructors of Surface Warfare Officers School train and mentor the students who will use what they learn to lead sailors at sea. The students must pass a rigorous course structure in order to serve as surface warfare officers.

The mission of Surface Warfare Officers School is to ready sea-bound warriors to serve on surface combatants as officers, enlisted engineers, and enlisted navigation professionals to fulfill the Navy's mission maintaining global maritime superiority.

Once service members finish training they are deployed around the world putting their skill set to work aboard Navy ships, such as aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, amphibious warfare ships, mine warfare ships and littoral combat ships.

Rolfs is a 2000 graduate of Bartlesville High School and a 2004 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

There are many sacrifices and goals one must achieve to be selected as an instructor, and Rolfs is most proud of the successful deployments carrying out the nation's mission.

The future of surface warfare is rapidly changing, so the course and materials at Surface Warfare Officer School are constantly evolving to create the most dynamic, lethal, safe and professional warfighting team for the Navy the nation needs.

Surface warfare has been a part of world history for more than 3,000 years, and the United States has its stamp on that history with actions ranging from the American Revolution to modern day operations at sea around the world.

Rolfs is continuing a family tradition of military service. Both of his grandfathers served during World War II and he had an uncle who enlisted in the Air Force and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

As Rolfs and other instructors train future surface warriors, they take pride in what it means to serve their country in the United States Navy.

(Photo by Dusty Good, Navy Office of Community Outreach)


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