A Final Salute to an American Hero
“Much remains to be done, so let’s get at it”
– Admiral James Carey
Eulogies are usually created after the one being memorialized has passed on to their reward in Heaven. Just this once, we’ll make an exception for a rare American hero in the golden sunset of a remarkable life. Admiral Jim Carey (or “J.J.”, as his friends affectionately call him) has spent a lifetime serving his country, community, family, and friends. He was involved in a variety of organizations while at the same time pursuing dual career paths in the military, the federal government, and national public policy in America. While not part of this OSMTJ Order (James Carey is not in anyway associated with us, the OSMTJ), he was, nonetheless, a distinguished Knight Templar worthy of our greatest respect and the former Grand Master of the OSMTH-KTI. Very few men can be said to have made such a positive impact on the modern Templars as Admiral Carey has. Carey was dedicated to making young people aware of and getting them involved with their civic duties and government.
If James Carey can be said to have had a “nemesis,” it might have been Fernando de Sousa Fontes (Grand Master of his rival OSMTH-Regency). Carey, who never did anything halfway, was overwhelmingly responsible for making the OSMTH-KTI what it is today, and in so doing, far surpassed his Templar rival, de Sousa Fontes (1).
Rear Admiral Carey was born in Berlin, Wisconsin, USA on April 9, 1939. He attended Berlin Public Schools through high school, graduating as President of his high school senior class and lettering in three major sports. Youth activities included the rank of Eagle Scout, Silver Award Explorer, and President of 4-H. In 1956, he was named an Outstanding Junior Citizen of the State. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, majoring in Marketing and Business Administration. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and later studied for an M.B.A. at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, since selected several times as the top ranked MBA Business Management School in the United States.
Following college graduation, he joined one of the largest graphic arts firms in the nation as a Management and Marketing trainee. His business career was soon interrupted by active duty military service as a Naval Officer in the United States Navy where he was assigned to the U. S. S. TOPEKA [CLG-8] home ported in Long Beach, CA. During his three years at sea, he served on two deployments to the Western Pacific, including service in the Vietnam War. In 1964, he was selected from among forty-four ships in Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla THREE as Junior Officer of the Year. He returned to his business career in Chicago in early 1966 in hopes of eventually entering into national public politics and having a greater impact on the future of the nation.
Following early and highly successful management and marketing assignments he began a consulting practice in international marketing and technology transfer with several business colleagues, focusing on high technology systems and training for the Middle East and Europe. In 1979, he affiliated with the Chicago firm of Telemedia, Inc., a major international military training and technology transfer corporation, as an International Business Manager. The next two years were spent in successful large scale international military and petrochemical programs in the Middle East, concentrating on Iran [then a U. S. Ally], Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.
In June of 1981, based on his reputation in international business and extensive Navy involvement in maritime matters, Mr. Carey was asked by newly elected President Ronald Reagan to join his Administration as a Commissioner of the U. S. Federal Maritime Commission. He was confirmed for that position by the United States Senate on October 8, 1981 and was sworn into office the following day. In 1983, he was elected Vice Chairman of the Commission, a position he held for the next six year.
In that same year, then Commissioner Carey was asked by the White House Office of Presidential Personnel to establish a professional forum for the Senate Confirmed Presidential Appointees, wherein they would meet regularly, socialize, network, and communicate with each other in the interests of better and more effective government. Mr. Carey was elected President of that organization and remained in that position for six years, during which time he regularly interfaced with Members of the President’s Cabinet, all other federal government agency heads, and various Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and Commissioners of the U. S. Government. In 1985, President Reagan asked Vice Chairman Carey to serve a second Federal Maritime Commission term, whereupon he was again confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn into office in December of that year. In early 1989, Vice Chairman Carey was asked by newly elected President George H. W. Bush to serve as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, a position he held for the next two years. During his nine year tenure at the Commission, Chairman Carey dealt regularly with most nations of the world and became a highly respected “voice of reason” in the international maritime community. Upon his return to the international business world in 1991, Chairman Carey’s tenure at the Commission was cited by President Bush as “one of the most successful in the agencies history”, with the agency operating at a 170% annual surplus, an almost unheard of level of performance for a federal government agency.
Parallel to his international business and government careers, Chairman Carey spent thirty-four years serving in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve. He began his military service as an enlisted Seaman Recruit, was selected for commissioning as an ENSIGN, and went on to hold seven separate commands in various amphibious, surface warfare, and Pentagon assignments and retired at the rank of Rear Admiral. From 1989 to 1992, he commanded Readiness Command Region SIX headquartered in the Washington Navy Yard, the largest Navy Readiness Command in the nation, involving over 10,000 naval personnel throughout the states of Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. During the 1991 war with Iraq [DESERT SHIELD / DESERT STORM], Admiral Carey’s Readiness Command had the largest number of naval reservists called to active duty for the war [approximately 2,500] of all the U. S. Navy Readiness Commands and was selected as THE TOP READINESS COMMAND IN THE NATION. His final military assignment was in the Pentagon on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations as the Division Director, Logistics Plans and Policy [N40], at that time the only Naval Reserve Flag Officer to ever hold a Division Directors position on the Staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Carey retired in October 1994 in ceremonies held at the Washington Navy Yard. Officiating was Admiral Carey’s classmate and lifelong friend from Officers Candidate School, Admiral Jeremy “Mike” Boorda, the U. S. Navy’s most senior Admiral and its Chief of Naval Operations.
Admiral Carey’s personal decorations include four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, three awards of the Navy Commendation Medal, and numerous other decorations representing service from the Vietnam War through DESERT SHIELD / DESERT STORM and Iraq. Admiral Carey has served as the International President of the 160 year old, 40,000 member Zeta Psi Fraternity, as National President of the 25,000 Naval Officer-member Naval Reserve Association, and as Grand Prior [National President] of the prestigious 900 year old military Order, the Knights Templar, here in the United States of America. In July, 1998, in ceremonies conducted in Turku, Finland, Admiral Carey was elected the International Grand Commander [Chief Executive Officer]of the Knights Templar World Body [Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymatani— recognized in special consultative status by the United Nations], the first American to serve in that position in the 900 year history of the Order. And most recently, upon serving six years as Grand Commander of the Order, he was elected to serve as Grand Master [Chairman], once again the first American to ever hold that position.
Chairman Carey’s academic endeavors include over twenty years of service on the International Board of Directors of his college fraternity, Zeta Psi Fraternity of North America. He has also been inducted into five separate High I.Q. Societies. He also served for two years as President of the National Capitol Interfraternity Forum, the Washington, DC based confederation representing 4,000,000 men’s fraternity members to the U. S. Congress and governmental agencies in Washington, DC. He continues to be involved in numerous leadership roles in the Republican Party, has served in four American Presidential Election Campaigns and numerous Senatorial and Congressional Campaigns, is one of the founders and serves on the Board of Directors of the Reagan Administration Presidential Appointees Alumni Association, and is regularly called upon to serve in the role of advisor to elected Members of Congress.
In addition, he is the Founder and National Chairman of “THE FLAG & GENERAL OFFICERS’ NETWORK”, a “networking and professional contact” organization of 3,700 active duty and retired U. S. Armed Forces Admirals and Generals, and served for 3 years as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the $900,000,000 portfolio Navy Mutual Aid Association [NMAA] and the Board of Governors of the National Association of Uniformed Services [NAUS]. Additional and more recent business activities include service on the Board of Directors of FEDNET, a Washington, DC based firm specializing in Internet coverage and broadcast of U. S. Congress hearings and press conferences. He also serves as Chairman of The Good Samaritans of the Knights Templar Foundation, Inc., a public charity and is Chairman of his own private foundation, The Admiral James J. Carey Foundation, Inc. [www.AdmiralCareyFoundation.org ].
In the 2000 Congressional election cycle, Admiral Carey founded the bi-partisan NATIONAL DEFENSE PAC, with the mission to endorse U. S. military veteran candidates for the U. S. Congress and to aggressively support their election. In the 2000 elections, the organization, founded in May of that year, endorsed 11 candidates and elected 10. In 2002, NDP endorsed 65 candidates and elected 57. Further details at www.nationaldefensepac.org In 2002, he also founded the NATIONAL DEFENSE COMMITTEE, a national public policy grassroots membership organization, for the purpose of addressing policy issues impacting on U. S. national defense, intelligence, homeland security, and the veterans who served in each of these national missions. Further details at www.nationaldefensecommittee.org In 2005, he also founded the Future Leaders for America Foundation, devoted to the sponsorship of internships for young Americans to come to the nation’s capitol and learn firsthand about the defense and security of their country. Further details at www.futureleadersforamerica.org and www.washingtonscholars.org He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Future Leaders for America Foundation.
During the 2003 Iraq War, Admiral Carey appeared numerous times on national television as a defense expert, with appearances on CNN, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, and CNNFN, as well as some 50 radio talk shows. He has also written a bi-monthly column and commentary on military, defense, and homeland security matters for the largest military & veterans internet site, www.military.com and has had numerous OP-ED’s published in various military, defense, and political publications and THE WASHINGTON TIMES NEWSPAPER in Washington, DC.
Admiral Carey is married to Dame Arlene Patricia Brooks, DCTJ, and has two adult daughters, a granddaughter and grandson, and resides in Alexandria, VA.
J.J. will not be forgotten.
References for Biography:
(1) See the history betwen Admiral Carey and Fernando de Sousa Fontes: http://www.theknightstemplar.org/forums/topic/fontes-versus-smotj-osmth-kti/ )