We are happy to announce that Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette, retired, has been selected as a bi-annual recipient of The Delois Smith All Star Team’s ‘Great American All Star’ designation. We are grateful to him for not only his service to our nation but for his continued service to our area with his new ‘air taxi’ business called Southern Star Aviation.

After receiving a Zoology degree in 1981 from UC Davis, Admiral Gaouette entered the Navy under the Submarine Strategic Weapons program and was commissioned at Officer Candidate School in April of 1982. He became a qualified submarine officer, and served as communicator in the USS Gudgeon and as a combat systems officer in the USS Lapon. He transferred to Surface Warfare in 1987 and for several years served on ships in several roles from navigator and damage control assistant to executive officer. He later commanded USS Oldendorf, and subsequently the USS Bunker Hill serving as sea combat commander for the Eisenhower Strike Group during its 2006 Middle East deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Admiral Gaouette is also a graduate of the Air War College where he received a concurrent master’s degree in Public Administration from Auburn University. He is the 2003 recipient of the Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale award for inspirational leadership as well as other personal decorations and awards throughout his career.

He retired in November 2013 and at that time was serving as Deputy Commander, U. S. Naval Forces, U.S. Central Command.

Over 20 years ago, stationed at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, he met his lovely wife Karen while working together in the security division. Karen is from Leakesville, Mississippi and ‘Chuck’ is from San Diego, California. Chuck credits Karen with being a huge asset to his naval career with her sweet southern accent and warm, friendly personality. While in the Navy, the Gaouette family was stationed from Hawaii to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Along the way, the family grew to include two sons, now in the 10th and 11th grades at Oak Grove High School. The family agrees they have all had a well rounded education in their travels while in service to our country. They also agree it is wonderful to be settled in an area near loved ones.

Chuck has always had a penchant for flying, and upon retiring from the Navy he determined that the airways would be a part of whatever he chose to do with his future. Seeing a need for a personal flight service in this area, he became certified to operate his 350 Cessna Columbia and opened his business in 2014. The plane is perfect for jaunts to places like Destin, Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, etc. It will accommodate the pilot, 3 passengers and their luggage with maximum weight limits established for safety. Chuck is thrilled with his new career, and says his love of the skies would keep him in the air every day if possible. It is our hope that he has much success with his new venture, and it is our privilege to have him serve as a ‘Great American All Star’! Congratulations, Rear Admiral Charles M. Gaouette.