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GHS grad new Navy commander

Greenville has a right to be proud of one of its own.

James Edward Watts, the son of Herbert and Ollie Watts of Greenville, was promoted in June of 2005 to Commander, Supply Corps, United States Navy.

"I am currently assigned to the Naval Supply Systems Command in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and I am Director of Fleet Support in the Ammunition Department," Cmdr. Watts said.

The 1976 Greenville High School graduate started out as an enlisted man for 12 years and has worked his way up through the ranks to senior supply officer assignments at various afloat and ashore commands. Watts received his bachelor's degree from New York Regents University and his master's at Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.

"In my current position as a naval supply officer, I am responsible for providing ammunition and logistics support for troops aboard ship as well as for those who are deployed, such as the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan," Cmdr. Watts said.

During his successful career, he has been stationed in many places, from Rota, Spain, to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to Subic Bay, in the Philippine Islands.

"During 9/11, I was assigned aboard ship in the Persian Gulf, and I served during 'Operation Enduring Freedom,' from April 2001 to November of that year, aboard the USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CG 58)," Cmdr. Watts said.

He has also served aboard the USS NIMITZ (CVN 58) and the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64). In August 2005, he will have served 29 years with the Navy.

Cmdr. Watts presently lives in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his wife, Cheryl Coleman Watts, formerly of Greenville.

His daughter, Ebony Watts Ferguson, is Ensign, Medical Corps, United States Navy, where she serves as a registered nurse.

Cmdr. Watts' son, James Edward Watts Jr., is a recent University of Georgia graduate, and is currently a sales representative with Verizon Wireless.

When asked about visiting Greenville, Cmdr. Watts said, "It is rewarding to come back and see how Greenville has grown and how it has progressed.

Of course, the most wonderful thing is visiting so many family members and friends.

There's nothing quite like coming home."