Retired U.S. Navy Captain Carl E. Rhudy, the first Limited Duty Officer Surface Warfare Communicator in U.S. Naval history to be promoted to the rank of Captain and serve as Commanding Officer of a Major Command Ashore, died on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, of sudden cardiac arrest.
Retired U.S. Navy Captain Carl E. Rhudy, the first Limited Duty Officer Surface Warfare Communicator in U.S. Naval history to be promoted to the rank of Captain and serve as Commanding Officer of a Major Command Ashore, died on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, of sudden cardiac arrest. He was 75. Captain Rhudy continued to serve our country and the Department of Defense for the past 20 years as an executive at CACI International, Inc. leading a team of Information Technology experts bringing video services to the fleet, as well as to the world.
The 38-year Navy war veteran's distinguished career began in 1955 at the age of 17 when he attended Boot Camp as a Seaman Recruit (E-1). After graduation, he completed initial training in the Radioman specialty in which he spent 13 years of enlisted service in progressively more demanding technical and management positions while advancing to Senior Chief Petty Officer (E-8). He was then selected for the Warrant Officer program advancing to Chief Warrant Officer prior to selection to the Limited Duty Officer program, serving 22 more years in the Navy Communicator specialty and achieving every rank from Lieutenant Junior Grade (0-2) to Captain (0-6).
From 1968-1975 he served on various combat missions in waters off Vietnam and Cambodia, including the evacuations of these countries, as well as the recovery of the SS Mayaguez. As Force Communications Officer for Commander Attack Carrier Strike Force Seventh Fleet, Commander Patrol and Renaissance Force Seventh Fleet/Commander Patrol Wing One, and as an Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications for U.S. Navy Commander Seventh Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Command, he embarked on eight aircraft carriers. Captain Rhudy served ashore at six Naval Communication Stations located in Japan, Spain, Guam, Hawaii and California, and was responsible for all communications throughout the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans going to and from Navy communications facilities at Guam, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippine Islands, and Diego Garcia.
In 1985, having served as a Radioman Seaman Apprentice at the same station 30 years before, Captain Rhudy returned to the U.S. Naval Communications Station in Yokosuka, Japan as the Commanding Officer to 500 personnel operating communications facilities in support of fleet operations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
In 1987, Captain Rhudy was assigned to Commander Naval Computer and Telecommunications Command where he served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Readiness and was directly responsible for unprecedented, worldwide communications support and readiness of 26 Navy shore communication stations, which proved invaluable to the War Fighter during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
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Selected for Major Command Ashore, he served his final tour as the Commanding Officer of 3,000 personnel at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station in Guam, one of the Navy's largest communications facilities in the world, providing support to afloat and ashore commands in two ocean areas. At the time of his retirement in 1993, Captain Rhudy was the Navy's most senior and respected Limited Duty Officer Communicator.
For the past 20 years until his death, Captain Rhudy served as Director for CACI International, Inc. where he recruited, trained and personally established and led a team of 50 telecommunications experts who provided video conferencing on board Naval ships and video services worldwide for the Defense Information Systems Agency serving CONUS, Europe, the Pacific, and Southwest Asia. Captain Rhudy was instrumental in the deployment of the Afghanistan Theater Video Bridge, the first known implementation of a Department of Defense cross domain solution for video conferencing.
Captain Rhudy, a native of Girard, Kansas, is survived by his wife of 55 years, Kay Rhudy, daughter Donna K. Rhudy, son-in-law Jun Nakamura, grand-daughter Jennifer C. Rhudy-Nakamura, and siblings Evelyn Preston, Connie Sponsel and Tom Rhudy.
Funeral services with Full Military Honors will be held at the Fort Myer Memorial Chapel on Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. with interment at Arlington National Cemetery to follow. A lunch reception will be held from 12:30-3:00 p.m. at the Fort Myer Officers' Club. Please visit www.demainefuneralhomes.com for additional details and to share your memories by signing the Guest Book for the Rhudy Family.