Taiwan-born captain named USS Essex captain
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Joker L. Jenkins, a Taiwan-born American, has been named the captain of the USS Essex, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
April 30, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
This represents the culmination of Jenkins' 24-year military service, and is the highest position ever held by a Taiwan-born person in the U.S. Navy.
Jenkins was born in Taiwan and raised in the U.S. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1989, with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Following training and education in nuclear power, he served as Reactor Electrical Officer on the USS Abraham Lincoln in Alameda, and qualified to become a Surface Warfare Officer and Nuclear Engineer.
The USS Essex has returned to its homeport in San Diego, California from Sasebo, a naval base located in southern Japan. Its full load displacement is over 40,000 tons of water, second only to an aircraft carrier. The ship is able to carry 1,800 personnel, over 30 helicopters, and landing crafts.
The U.S. Navy possesses 10 Wasp-class amphibious assault ships, five of them based in San Diego. After Jenkins was named the captain of the USS Essex, the Navy issued a command to send the vessel for ship maintenance.
Jenkins' personal Awards include three Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Legion of Merit, and a Joint Staff Commendation Medal.