Commander Joel S. Walker Biography
CDR Walker graduated from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, in June 1980, with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial technology. Upon graduating from college, he attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI. He was commissioned as an Ensign in February 1981.
While on active duty, CDR Walker served as 3rd Division Officer aboard the USS CONSTELLATION (CV64), then Repair Division Officer and First Lieutenant aboard the USS BERKELEY (DDG-15). He was released from active duty in March 1985.
In June 1986 CDR Walker began drilling as a Naval Reservist in San Bernardino, CA, with NR Commander Military Sealift Command 119 (COMSC) where he was the Assistant Training Officer. In October 1987, CDR Walker sustained a wrist injury and became temporarily not physically qualified for duty. Upon full recovery from this injury in September 1988 he transferred to NR Fleet Training Group 119 (FTG) in Long Beach, CA where he was Damage Control Instructor Observer. CDR Walker relocated to San Jose, CA in September 1989 and transferred to NR Weapons Station Concord 220 (WPSTA) in San Jose, where he was the Executive Officer. While attached to this unit, he was recalled to active duty in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm in February 1991 as Assistant Reserve Program Officer at Naval Weapons Station Concord, CA. Upon release from active duty in September 1991 CDR Walker transferred to the USS EXCEL (MSO-439), as Assistant Operations Officer in the ships reserve detachment. In May 1992 he transferred to NR WPSTA Concord 2120 as the Executive Officer of this unit, and was promoted to Unit Commanding Officer in October 1993.
CDR Walker relocated to Omaha, NE in June 1994 and transferred to NR Military Sealift Command Office Japan 111 (MSCO) in Oklahoma City, OK. While attached to this unit, he held billets as Assistant Mobilization Officer, Assistant Operations Officer, and Training Division Officer. Due to budgetary problems existing in the Naval Reserve program and because he had been selected for promotion to the rank of Commander, CDR Walker was transferred to NR Volunteer Training Unit 1810G (VTU) in Omaha, NE in October 1997. While assigned to the VTU from October 1997 through July 2000, CDR Walker instructed Leadership Training Continuum for officers attached to the Omaha Reserve Center, served on various administrative boards, acted as Master of Ceremonies for many military occasions, and provided General Military Instruction. In July 2000 CDR Walker was assigned to NR Commander, Military Sealift Command Republic of Korea 218 (COMSCROK), as the Operations Officer.
During his tour of active duty aboard the USS CONSTELLATION, CDR Walker deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans. The ship then entered Regular Overhaul in Bremerton, WA and CDR Walker was detached to attend Main Propulsion Assistant School in Newport Rhode Island in October 1983 prior to reporting aboard the USS BERKELEY in February 1984. He deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans with the USS BERKELEY and also participated in the subsequent Ship Repair Availability in San Diego.
During his tour of duty as the Assistant Reserve Program Officer at Naval Weapons Station Concord, CA during Operation Desert Shield/Storm CDR Walker organized the recall, training and assignment of 85 reservists. CDR Walker also served aboard the USS EXCEL MSO-439 and participated in the training of MSO crews in Oakland Bay and the SOCAL Operations Area, for cross-deck to MSO units on station in the Persian Gulf. He also participated in the release of reservists during concluding phases of the operation. He cut short his tour as Commanding Officer of WPSTA 2120 due to his relocation to Nebraska by transfer within his civilian career.
While assigned to NR MSCO Japan 111, CDR Walker participated in Exercise Ulchi Focus Lens 1996. As Operations Officer for NR COMSCROK 218, CDR Walker participated in Reception Staging Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) 2001.
While assigned to NR HDCU 206, CDR Walker was recalled to active duty for approximately 4 months in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom in spring of 2003.
Commander Walker retired in October 2003.
CDR Walker has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corp Commendation Medal & Second Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
CDR Walker resides in Roca, NE with his wife Jolene of more than 18 years, and two children, Austin age 15 and Dillon age 12. He is employed with the Nebraska Department of Roads as a Certified General Staff Appraiser III.