(VALLEJO, Calif.) — California Maritime Academy has announced the pending retirement of Capt. Harry Bolton, director of marine programs and commanding officer of the USTS Golden Bear, following the upcoming summer training cruise.
Bolton, a 1978 graduate of the academy, returned to Cal Maritime on May 1, 2008 after a 30-year career with American Maritime Officers. Twenty of those years were with American Overseas Marine Corp. (AMSEA) aboard the original preposition ships based out of Guam, Saipan and Diego Garcia. Bolton began sailing as master in 1985, only seven years after graduation.
When asked the highlight of his career before Cal Maritime, Bolton readily replied "the Persian Gulf War" where he spent 13 months straight aboard his ship, eight of them in the Persian Gulf. For his leadership in that conflict, Bolton was awarded the U.S. Navy’s Meritorious Civil Service Award.
“We applaud Capt. Bolton for his dedicated service to Cal Maritime and wish him all the best as he anticipates the next chapter of life with his family,” said President Tom Cropper. “Harry's commitment to putting cadets first has ensured that our graduates receive hands-on training opportunities that give our graduates distinct professional advantages in this industry.”
In his service at Cal Maritime, Bolton planned and executed 10 cadet training cruises with his 11th and final cruise coming in summer 2018. “There have been a few epic cruises in my time here – to New Zealand and Australia, and to Spain and Italy,” he said. “But what stands out more than those cruises is working with the officers from the Corps of Cadets, especially all of the corps commanders, chief mates, second mates, corps chiefs, first engineers, and division commanders over the years. These young men and women make it great to show up to work every day.”
The captain also highlighted some significant campus accomplishments during his time on campus. “No doubt, implementing the ISM safety system with full ABS certification was a big team effort and a huge payoff in developing an industry standard shipboard safety management system as well as having our license-track cadets ready for their careers after graduation,” said Bolton. “I would also include the modifications we have made to the Golden Bear. In recent years, we have essentially modified the ship from top to bottom, stem to stern.
"I want to thank the administration, staff, faculty and cadets for all of their support over the years. In particular, I would like to thank the permanent ship’s crew for their hard work and dedication, as well as those at the Maritime Administration who have so generously supported the many modification projects, making the USTS Golden Bear the finest training ship in the world.”
Following his last day on Aug. 31, Bolton plans to remain active in the maritime industry as a consultant.