Naval Reserve officer, a York High grad, to become admiral
Scott Weikert, a William Penn High School grad, has been recommended to the rank of rear admiral. ‘The camaraderie, the esprit de corps, just the level of commitment of the people I serve with – I’ve never found that in the private sector,’ Weikert said. ‘That’s probably a reflection of the fact that we depend on each other so much in executing our jobs.’ Background posts: York has produced its share of high-ranking naval officers and Book gives positive view about forgotten general Jake Devers.
York County has produced a high-ranking officer at Gitmo, Brad LeVault and the captain on the new carrier U.S.S. Bush, Chip Miller.
Now comes news from the Navy that a York son, Scott Weikert, is awaiting promotion to the rank of rear admiral… .
If there’s war in Korea, Weikert will be in charge of infrastructure for the military to operate in that land.
A York Daily Record/Sunday News story (3/20/08) explains Weikert’s expected promotion:
In the tense zone where North and South Korea meet, a potential building project exists. It will take place only if war breaks out.
If that happens, amid the ensuing chaos and destruction, a team of engineers will be on hand to make sure roads are passable, utilities are functioning and piers are intact — in short, that the entire infrastructure American-affiliated forces need to do their jobs remains in place.
The man tasked with making it all happen is Scott Weikert, a soft-spoken York native who likes a good game of golf, dotes on his family and rarely mentions his military service unless someone asks him about it, according to his family members.
His wife, Janet Welsko, said she suspects a lot of his neighbors in their current home of Spring City will never hear of his promotion. President Bush recently recommended that Weikert be promoted from Navy reserve captain to admiral.
Weikert is now attending leadership training in Georgia. In a phone interview, he said the official title of his new job is rear admiral, lower half. That’s basically the Navy’s equivalent of a one-star general, he said.
The Senate must still officially confirm his nomination. But once the president announces his recommendation, that confirmation is traditionally a formality, he said.
Weikert joined the Navy soon after he graduated from William Penn Senior High School in 1974, motivated by a desire to follow in the footsteps of his Navy veteran father and to get money for college.
After three years as a nuclear electrician on submarines, he attended Drexel University on a naval scholarship, earning a degree in electrical engineering in 1981. He was commissioned that year and remained on active duty until 1987, when he joined the reserves.
When he’s not on duty for the Navy, which now entails several trips a year to Korea, Weikert is an equity partner in a marine construction company based in South Florida. But the Navy is his first love, which is why he’s stuck with it all these years.
“The camaraderie, the esprit de corps, just the level of commitment of the people I serve with – I’ve never found that in the private sector,” Weikert said. “That’s probably a reflection of the fact that we depend on each other so much in executing our jobs.”
Janet Welsko said she can see that sense of camaraderie in her husband’s dealings with his colleagues, which is why she believes he’s the right man for the new job.
“He’s a great leader because he gets a lot of information from people and he cares about what other people think,” she said.
Family: Wife, Janet Welsko; son Ryan; daughter Genevieve
Recent service: From 2003 to 2005, Weikert commanded the Seventh Naval Construction Regiment, based in Newport, R.I. The Navy mobilized that regiment in July, 2004. Weikert ended up serving as the deputy commander and chief of staff of the First Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer group, which provided engineering and construction support at Fallujah, Iraq. In September 2005, he assumed command of Naval Engineer Forces Korea.
Medals and Awards Weikert has won
— Bronze Star
— Meritorious Service Medal with one Gold Star
— Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars
— Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with one Gold Star
— Joint Meritorious Unit Citation
— Navy Unit Commendation
— Meritorious Unit Commendation
— Navy E Ribbon with Silver E
— National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star
— Iraq Campaign Medal with Marine Emblem
— Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
— Korea Defense Service Medal
— Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
— Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
— Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon
— Navy Recruiting Ribbon
— Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Silver Hourglass and Bronze M
— Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon with Silver E
— Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with Silver E
A Navy admiral is roughly the equivalent of an Army general. Here are the ranks of admiralty, from lowest to highest:
— Rear admiral lower half
— Rear admiral upper half
— Vice admiral
(For additional posts on York County’s links to the military and war, see this blog’s War category.)