Resident’s son tapped as nuclear sub commander

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Special to the Reporter

Michael J. Dobbs, son of John of Shelby has been selected as commanding officer of the USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) (Blue) submarine.

He is also the son of the late Audrey Dobbs.

Dobbs was born in Texas, but his amily moved to Shelby County in the Pine Grove Village on Lay Lake about 16 years ago.

His father said Michael returns home frequently to visit and go fishing.

According to the U.S. Navy, a change of command ceremony for the USS Pennsylvania was held during October.

During the proceedings, Cmdr. Timothy N. Daseler was relieved by Dobbs.

Dobbs graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1984, earning a bachelor’s degree in history.

Following completion of nuclear propulsion and basic submarine training, he served in the engineering and weapons department during five strategic patrols of the USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN 633) (Gold) in 1986.

The submarine, operated out of King Bay, was selected as a Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine of the Year and won the Battle &uot;E&uot; award.

Dobbs was selected as an Olmsted Scholar in 1989.

After six months of language training, he completed studies at the Institute of Political Studies (Grenoble, France) and received a master’s degree in political science in 1991.

He served as navigator aboard the USS Drum (SSN 677) from 1993 to 1995 in San Diego and completed two deployments prior to the ship’s decommissioning in Hawaii.

Dobbs served as assistant officer community manager at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington D.C. from 1995-97 where he developed retention, recruiting and incentive strategies and policies for submarine officers.

He also completed the Naval War College non-resident course and earned a master’s degree in public administration.

In 1977, Dobbs assumed responsibilities as the executive officer of the USS Jefferson City (SSN 759), homeported in San Diego, Calif.

During his tour, the ship’s crew was recognized for superior tactical proficiency during preparation for deployment to the Western Pacific.

Dobbs returned to Washington in 1999 where he developed the Unified Command Plan as a member of the Joint Staff (J5: Strategy and Policy).

He also worked in the emerging area of Homeland Security and Information Warfare.

In 2001, Dobbs left the Joint Staff and completed a one-year assignment writing speeches, articles and congressional testimony for the vice-chief of naval operations and served on long-range planning groups, including Deep Blue.

Dobbs is married and has a son. His wife is completing a Ph.D. fellowship at the University of Washington in political science.

John Dobbs expressed pride for his son.

&uot;That was the second proudest moment in my life. Not too many people get command of a nuclear submarine. They are awesome. I’ve been aboard them … scary looking.&uot;

He said the first proudest moment was the birth of his son. And he affirmed, &uot;Yes, I’m very proud of him.&uot;

Michael J. Dobbs is also the grandson of Peggy and Homer Dobbs of Chelsea