Captain James Jenks, a native of Satellite Beach, Florida, graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1989. Following completion of nuclear training, he reported aboard the USS GEORGIA (SSBN 729)(BLUE) where he completed five strategic deterrent patrols. His next assignment was Officer-in-Charge of the Performance Monitoring Team where his organization aided in maintaining twenty-four Norfolk based SSNs. His department head assignment was Weapons Officer of the USS NEWPORT NEWS (SSN 750) where he completed two Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf deployments. He continued his sea service as an Operations Action Officer for the Royal Navy under the Personnel Exchange Program. While assigned to the Royal Navy, he completed three deployments on aircraft carriers and destroyers.
Returning from his exchange assignment, he served as Executive Officer of the USS MARYLAND (SSBN 738)(BLUE), making three strategic deterrent patrols. During this period, MARYLAND was awarded two Battle Efficiency Awards. Prior to his command tour, he coordinated global intelligence collection efforts for USSTRATCOM in Omaha, Nebraska. Captain Jenks then commanded the USS TENNESSEE (SSBN 734) through two strategic deterrent patrols, crew consolidation, change of home port and a majority of nuclear refueling.
In July 2010, he served as director for USSTRATCOM’s Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction division where he coordinated planning efforts across the entire Department of Defense. From 2012 to 2014, he served as the Director of Operations for Commander Task Force 69 in Naples, Italy where he oversaw the submarine employment for the European and African Commands.
Captain Jenks served as Submarine Base Kings Bay Commanding Officer from 2014 to 2016 when Kings Bay was recognized as the top installation in the region and placed third across the entire Navy in the Secretary of the Navy’s Installation Excellence Award program. He reported as the Chief of Staff to Region Hawaii in October 2016.