MILTON — After 21 years of faithful service in the United States Navy, Cmdr. Doug Ramsey, Naval Air Station Whiting Field Air Operations Officer, rendered his final salute in the base auditorium the week of April 25. His retirement ceremony was among friends, family, and Navy personnel. 

Ramsey reported to NAS Whiting Field in July 2017 to become the OPSO, the last step in a distinguished career. 

“With all the experiences, with all the countries, all the adventures, I’ve loved it. But that’s not what makes the Navy. What makes the Navy is the people. The people you serve with, the people you lead with and work for — that’s what sticks with you in the long run. This opportunity, this day is really not about me, it’s about you and it’s my chance to say thank you,” Ramsey said. 

Ramsey graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1998 and earned his wings as a naval aviator in May 2000.

After completing Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Three Zero with aircraft commander qualification and two deployments supporting Fifth and Seventh Fleet Operations, he reported to Training Squadron Four.

He was assigned to USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in May 2007, with tours in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf. In August 2009, he reported to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Four Zero.

Ramsey completed deployments with the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, during which he supported Haiti earthquake relief efforts in 2010. He then moved to Kadena Air Base, Japan as air operations officer in May 2012.

He reported to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in May 2015 as the assistant air officer before a final report to  Whiting Field as the OPSO and instructor pilot for Training Squadron Three's “Red Knights.”

Guest speaker was Cmdr. Lucas “Spicoli” Kadar, who served as Ramsey's assistant aboard the USS Carl Vinson.

Kadar said, “This brings me to [another] one of Doug’s finest qualities — his relentless efforts and ability to help others. He does this with a degree of patience that most of us only wish we had. He taught me the ropes of catapult launching aircraft and explained what was in the heads of the people that were working on the (Vinson) flight deck.” 

The “Navy Wife” poem was also read during the ceremony, and Summer Ramsey and the children received a letter of appreciation from NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Paul Bowdich.

“Permission to go ashore for the last time” rang out before Ramsey and his family stepped through the bullets completing his Naval service. Ramsey plans to fly with a commercial airline following his retirement.