Clermont County native, Cmdr. Paul (Greg) Werring, Jr., USN, retired from the U.S. Navy after serving 35 years on active duty. His retirement ceremony was held on Jan. 12, 2018 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) in Panama City, Florida where he served as the executive officer for three years.
Werring, a 1978 Clermont Northeastern High School graduate, enrolled at the University of Dayton (UD) to pursue an electrical engineering degree. After a couple of years he decided to change career paths and enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
“I always thought the Navy was cool from stories I read and movies I watched. It’s a cliché, but I wanted to see the world and the Navy provided that for me,” said Werring. “Back then, he never dreamed his stint in the Navy would last more than 35 years.”
After completing boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois, he trained to become an electronics technician. His first operational duty station was at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During that tour, he applied for and was accepted into the Enlisted Commissioning Program thanks in part to the college credits he received at UD. The Navy sent him to The Ohio State University where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Cum Laude) in 1990 and was commissioned to the rank of ensign.
Werring said he was always interested in aviation and said the highlight of his career was becoming designated a Naval Flight Officer and earning his wings. While assigned to P-3 Orion squadrons, he deployed several times to locations including, but not limited to Iceland, Italy and Diego Garcia.
Werring reflects on his career and says the most rewarding aspect of his career was becoming a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer, commonly known as a “shooter,” on the USS Eisenhower (CVN 69).
“As an Arresting Gear Officer, I would stand at the back of the flight deck and clear aircraft to land. As a Catapult Officer I would make sure everything is set to launch an aircraft. The final signal is the pilot’s saluting the “shooter” who salutes back, makes one last check with everyone, and then signals for the aircraft to be launched,” said Werring. “It is such an adrenaline rush being on the flight deck with all of the jets powered up around you. Even if they’re not on, it was just fun being on the flight deck.”
While on the USS Eisenhower, Werring visited several locations in Europe and the Middle East.
When looking back over his career, Werring said it couldn’t have been more fulfilling. The Navy came through with his wish to see the world. Werring said he will miss being in uniform and spending time with his fellow Sailors but offers pearls of wisdom for those hoping to achieve comparable success.
“Work hard even when things aren’t going your way and good things will happen to you,” said Werring. When asked about leadership philosophy, he said “lead by example, I never ask anyone to do something I wouldn’t do.”
While serving as the NSWC PCD executive officer, Werring was charged with leading and managing 40 military, over 1,400 federal civil servants of whom the majority is scientists and engineers.
Overall, the command manages a $503 million business base and supports sponsors and stakeholders in the fields of mine warfare, expeditionary and amphibious maneuver systems, diving and life support and naval special warfare.
Werring’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), The Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards).
In addition, Werring received Campaign Service Medals for serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.