Veteran Profile: Keith Coe

Current Honeywell title and location: Engineer Senior Product Design, Technical Validator in Phoenix, Ariz.

Position in the military: First Class Petty Officer, U.S. Navy

Length of military service: Six years

Length of time at Honeywell: 30 years

What did you learn from your years in the service that helps you perform your job today?

I served in the United States Navy from 1976-1982 mostly in the field of nuclear power as an electrician. Four of those years were spent at sea aboard the nuclear submarine U.S.S. George C. Marshall, a ballistic missile carrier, and the fast attack submarine U.S.S. Philadelphia. I had the privilege of meeting Vice President Bush and Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, the ‘father of the nuclear Navy,’ in person as they toured the George C. Marshall in 1980. I also took part in an actual ballistic missile launch in the south Atlantic in 1981. During the actual launch of three Polaris missiles my responsibility was as ballistics and ballast control panel where sub buoyancy is controlled and maintained during this critical exercise. To this day I still utilize the skills I learned as a technical publications illustrator, electronic schematic/printed circuit board designer and tool design and inspection daily in my service at Honeywell. In the Navy I maintained portions of the sub’s nuclear power plant, particularly systems warning indicators and plant integrity and safety monitoring. But most of all I took away the fellowship of serving as a member of a unique ‘family’ of technicians each one of us depending thoroughly on each other 24/7 in an extremely volatile environment. I spent the equivalent of more than two solid years underwater, you learn to make adjustments rapidly and stay alert as each sub sailor was indeed ‘looking out for each other.’ While I probably wouldn’t want to re-live my military experience, I also wouldn’t take any amount of money in exchange for the exhilarating experience I had. I will always treasure this unique service.

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