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    New Jersey native, U.S. Navy Captain Sharif Calfee, discusses command at sea

    A native of Toms River, N.J. and Fernandina Beach, Fl., U.S. Navy Capt. Sharif Calfee is the son of a Navy Seabee, and grandson of an Army vet, and the current captain, or commanding officer of the U.S. Navy warship USS Shiloh (CG 67), which is forward-deployed overseas at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, Japan with a crew of 400 sailors. His duties and responsibilities include the performance of the warship and all the personnel who are assigned to it.
    “I am responsible for all the people, all the equipment, and the all the missions that we are assigned and where we go with that,” said Calfee. “In some ways it’s almost like running a mini town. We have food services, administrative services, power, lights, with the engineering department providing electricity and propulsion, with heating and air conditioning and water purification.”
    Along with the ship’s physical condition and mission, Calfee also ensures the care of the Sailors onboard.
    “The goal is to help lead them, to help them grow and mature, move to the next level, capability and talent, both personally and professionally in service to our mission,” said Calfee. “I take their well-being seriously and I want their families to understand that is something very serious in the U.S. Navy.”
    Family is very important to Calfee. His 3 daughters, Maiya, Maila and Maryn along with his wife Kerry, who is a speech-language pathologist, are some of his biggest motivations in life.
    “They’ve been the light of my life and the joy of my life,” said “Calfee. “I’m forever in absolute wonder about their creativity, their intellect and their passion. They keep me feeling young and laughing and their personalities are formidable in their own right at their age.”
    Calfee first became interested in the Navy in high school during a career counseling presentation about the U.S. Naval Academy.
    “Leafing through the catalog for the naval academy was the first moment that this ambiguous interest in different things crystallized in the form of ships, technology, aircraft, leadership,” said Calfee. “I could see what I was really interested in and somehow it captured my imagination in a specific way.”
    Capt. Calfee attended the US Naval Academy, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and commissioning into the Navy’s surface warfare officer community in 1996.
    “I didn’t anticipate that I would still be in 25 years later,” said Calfee. “Initially I was excited to join and go become a naval officer, but I knew that after 5 years I’d have a decision to make.”
    As Capt. Calfee moved through his initial division tours, he realized that it gave him a lot of professional satisfaction, which remained with him through subsequent tours as a department head.
    “You learn about responsibility, authority and accountability,” said Calfee. “You have to put them into practice in the real world so you gain greater experience.”
    Calfee earned master’s degrees in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence concentration) from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 2003 and Public Policy (International Affairs concentration) from Princeton in 2019. He previously served as captain of the U.S. Navy warship, USS McCampbell (DDG 85) an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, seven years ago, which was also forward-deployed to Japan. His career eventually led to his assignment as captain of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG-67), who’s mascot is a stinging hornet, in reference to the “Hornets Nest” where the fighting was most fierce during the Battle of Shiloh.
    “It’s been a true honor and privilege to be able to lead and to work alongside the fantastic hornets of the Shiloh and to see them succeed in many different ways to accomplish our assigned missions.”
    As the captain of the ship, Calfee is committed to the training and professional development of his Sailors as part of his responsibility to achieve maximum readiness of Shiloh for its required missions.
    “I want the very best, both personally and professionally for the sailors who are placed in our charge,” said Calfee. “In the Navy we believe in sustaining a professional work environment that strengthens our unit cohesion and combat readiness.”
    Calfee also recognized the sacrifices that spouses and families make to support military service members.
    “Make no mistake, sometimes the spouse takes on a greater share of the balance, especially when sailors are deployed,” said Calfee. “Whether they are working outside the home or they are working inside the home, both of them are work, and the deployment of the sailor may increase that overall workload for the spouse or family,” said Calfee.
    Calfee suggests staying connected and communicating with family and friends while in the military.
    “For parents, especially for units that deploy, one thing to be mindful of is once we head out to sea, communications might not always be continuous,” said Calfee. “In this very connected world of ours, we are used to immediately being able to communicate with people, at all times, day or night, but that’s not always the case.”
    When operational requirements allow for communication from a ship, Calfee advises managing communication expectations.
    “You have your time to work and your off-time to communicate- so use it wisely,” said Calfee. “Based on where we are at and what we do, it may not always be there.”
    Shiloh is attached to Commander, Task Force 70/Carrier Strike Group 5 forward-deployed to Japan in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.



    Date Taken: 10.16.2021
    Date Posted: 10.18.2021 20:21
    Story ID: 407507
    Location: PHILIPPINE SEA
    Hometown: TOMS RIVER, NJ, US

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