GROTON, Conn. - When he joined the U.S. Navy in September 1982 after graduating from high school, Tim Lough never dreamed he would mark his retirement 30 years later.
Although his retirement is not official until Oct. 10, Lough, 48, will be honored today at a retirement celebration at the submarine base at Groton, Conn.
At Parkersburg South High School he was on the football team all three years playing at different positions, center, defensive end and linebacker. He also played basketball one year.
Master Chief E-9 Tim Lough and his wife, the former Christina Dawn Parsons
After three decades of service, Lough has risen to the rank of Master Chief E-9 and has spent his career in submarines. He serves on the USS Missouri as the navigation operations department enlisted adviser based at Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn., the Navy's primary submarine base.
Lough completed basic recruit training at San Diego, Calif., followed by Basic Electricity and Electronics School, San Diego, Surface Electronics Technician "A" School, Great Lakes, Ill., and Calibration Technician "C" School at Lowry A.F.B., Denver.
After the training, his first assignment was as the Naval Submarine School calibration coordinator, in Groton. While serving there, he volunteered for submarine duty. He attended Basic Enlisted Submarine School and Electronic Warfare Support Measures "C" School.
Lough has been awarded the Enlisted Submarine Warfare Insignia, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Commendation Medal, three awards; the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, six awards; and several campaign and unit awards.
In November 1991, Lough was ordered to instructor duty at Naval Submarine School, Groton. While at the school, he served as the leading instructor for five "C" school courses of instruction.
His next assignment was as the leading chief petty officer aboard the USS Grayling (SSN 646), first in Charleston, S.C., and then in Groton.
While serving there, the Grayling became the first submarine to ever be awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award for successful operations in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard. He completed a Mediterranean Deployment and took the ship to her decommissioning in Bremerton, Wash.
Lough said his retirement plan is to return to Parkersburg with his wife, the former Christina Dawn Parsons of Parkersburg.
"We plan to come home and spend some time with the family," he said. "I might get a job and see what it's like to lead a 'normal' life. We also plan to travel."
When he joined the Navy, Lough said, he planned to serve one tour of duty and move on to something else.
"When I joined up out of high school I planned for just one tour," he said. "Now I'm at 30 years."
Lough said he had planned on retiring earlier but changed his mind.
"About five years ago I thought I'd retire but I decided to stay and leave at 30 years," he said. "But this has been something I have enjoyed and it keeps me coming back. I love the job and teaching the sailors coming in behind me how to do their job."
At the celebration Lough said Wednesday they expected guests numbering up to 100 that will include family, most of those at the base and some high ranking officers.
"I'm not excepting any admirals but there will be some of the base commanders at the celebration and a lot of family," he said. "It will include current shipmates and others at the base. Some former shipmates who have retired will also be making the trip up."
Lough and his wife have two daughters, Brittany, who recently completed graduate school and is married, and Caitlin, who will begin her senior year in college. They have one grandchild.