Membership - American Sail Training Association

board bios

CAPT Charles “Chip” Swicker (USN Ret.)

Chip SwickerChip Swicker served as a deckhand in the 3-masted schooner VICTORY CHIMES in 1974, before graduating from Dartmouth College in 1977. He then went to sea for five years in a variety of large ocean-going sailing ships, including the schooners HARVEY GAMAGE, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE and R/V WESTWARD, and worked in shipyards in Amsterdam and San Juan. After shaving off his beard and receiving his commission from Navy Officer Candidate School in 1982, he was assigned briefly to USS EDSON (DD 946) before serving as Electrical Officer and Navigator in USS SCOTT (DDG 995), Fire Control Officer and Battery Control Officer in USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38), Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer in USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CG 58), Executive Officer in USS MONTEREY (CG 61), and Commanding Officer of the guided missile destroyer USS JOHN S. McCAIN (DDG 56). Captain Swicker’s Major Command was the guided missile cruiser USS VICKSBURG (CG 69).

Ashore, Captain Swicker received a Master’s Degree in Scientific and Technical Intelligence from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1990. He is also a Distinguished Graduate of the Naval War College, and spent three years teaching fellow officers as Director of the Command at Sea Department at the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, Rhode Island. Captain Swicker completed his 30-year Navy career as Senior Naval Advisor to the Secretary of State, and retired on the deck of the schooner VICTORY CHIMES, finishing where he started. He is married to the former Barbara Gayle Biddle of Padanaram, Massachusetts. They first met 34 years ago as Mates in R/V WESTWARD, got spliced in 1983, and currently make their home in Bel Alton, Maryland.

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