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Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes

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Information about Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes

Profile image of Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Expect what you inspect.

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1944
Birth Location:
Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Profession

Category:
MilitaryMakers
Occupation(s):
Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Steak
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Expect what you inspect.

Birthplace

Born:
12/30/1944
Birth Location:
Williamsport
See how Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Navy Captain (Retired) C. A. “Pete” Tzomes was born on December 30, 1944 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of two children parented by James C. Tzomes and Charlotte Eudora (Hill) Tzomes, who instilled in him the value of hard work and discipline at an early age. Tzomes decided to pursue a career in the U.S. Navy during junior high school following a recruiting visit by a Naval Academy midshipman. Later, in 1963, Tzomes was admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy after briefly attending the State University of New York at Oneonta. He graduated in 1967 and was commissioned as an Ensign.

Upon graduation, Tzomes completed submarine nuclear power training which was followed by submarine training. He was then assigned to the ballistic missile submarine USS WILL ROGERS in 1969 and served in various division officer billets before being transferred to the fast attack submarine USS PINTADO. After completing Engineer Officer qualification in 1973, Tzomes was assigned as engineer officer on board USS DRUM; and, from 1979 to 1982, served as Executive Officer on board USS CAVALLA. In 1983, Tzomes became the first African American to command a U.S. submarine when he was assigned as the Commanding Officer of USS HOUSTON (SSN 713). At the conclusion of his command tour in 1986, he was assigned as the Force Operations Officer on the staff of Commander Submarine Forces U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and oversaw the operations of all submarines in the Pacific theater. In 1988, Tzomes was appointed as the Director of the Equal Opportunity Division in the Bureau of Naval Personnel and as the advisor to the Chief of Naval Personnel on equal opportunity issues; and, in 1990, he became Commanding Officer of Recruit Training Command Great Lakes (boot camp). Tzomes then served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Inspector General before he retired from the Navy in 1994.

Tzomes was an active member of the National Naval Officers Association, including two years as a regional Vice President, while on active duty. This is a professional organization that targets professionalism and development of sea service minority officers (Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard). After Navy retirement, Tzomes worked as a utility manager at Exelon Corporation until July 2012. He held various leadership positions while primarily assigned to the Quad Cities Generating Station located in western Illinois. He continued to keep abreast of Navy issues through his affiliation with the Naval Submarine League, the U.S. Naval Institute, the United States Submarine Veterans and the Navy League. His military honors and decorations include the Legion of Merit (with Two Gold Stars), the Meritorious Service Medal (with Three Gold Stars), and the Navy Commendation Medal (with Two Gold Stars) as well as various unit and campaign ribbons.

Tzomes married the former Carolyn Eason in July, 2007. Offspring from a previous marriage include a son, Chancellor A. Tzomes II, and a granddaughter, Mariana Tzomes.

Navy Captain (Retired) C.A. “Pete” Tzomes The HistoryMakers August 21, 2013.

See how Capt. C.A. "Pete" Tzomes is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of C.A. Tzomes' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his mother's personality and her emphasis on education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his father's personality and his employment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his adoption, and finding out that his adoptive father was his biological father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his parents getting married, and his biological mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes describes his childhood memories of growing up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and talks about his brother, Pierre
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - C.A. Tzomes describes the geographical location of Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - C.A. Tzomes discusses how his parents settled down in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the black population in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, while he was growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes the segregated community in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes describes the neighborhood and community within which he grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes Christmas with his family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about Ebenezer Baptist Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his experience in elementary school in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his interest in sports in school and his academic performance
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes explains his career aspirations as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his brother, Pierre Tzomes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the undercurrents of discrimination and racism in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes discusses the racial climate in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and talks about his first direct experience with racism in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about being biracial, and his observations of social perceptions of skin color
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about desegregated public services in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his desire to the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his graduating class and the few role models in the community who emphasized a college education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes talks about the importance of getting good grades
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his plans to attend college and his father's alcoholism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes describes his application to the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes talks about attending the State University of New York at Oneonta, and his acceptance to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his first summer and plebe year at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the sociopolitical events of the early 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Summer at the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his classmate, Calvin Huey, the first African American to play varsity football for the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Year at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience during Plebe Year at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes describes the racial climate during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes the racial climate in Annapolis, Maryland, during his time at the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes describes his social experience in the black community in Annapolis, Maryland while at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes describes his social experience in the black community in Annapolis, Maryland while at the U.S. Naval Academy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his aspirations of joining the U.S. Marine Corps, and instead applying for the U.S. Navy's Nuclear Power Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the Vietnam War and his experience with racism while in the U.S. Naval Academy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes describes racial challenges that he faced in Norfolk, Virginia in 1964, and at the U.S. Navy submarine squadron in Key West
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about training for the Nuclear Power Program and his interest in submarines
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his interview with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover for the Nuclear Power Program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience with racism in the Submarine Nuclear Power Program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience with racism in the Submarine Nuclear Power Program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience as an Engineer Officer on the USS Drum, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his experience as Engineer Officer on the USS Drum, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about submarine officer ranks and recalls his colleague, Willie Wells, aboard the USS Will Rogers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his assignment on the Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board and as the executive officer on USS Cavalla
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes talks about how he dealt with racial insubordination while on assignments in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his relationship with white and black officers and crew members on the USS Will Rogers and the USS Pintado
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes discusses Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes discusses Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the results of Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's efforts to address racial tensions in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his selection as the commanding officer of the USS Houston in 1983, and describes the command screening process
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes talks about becoming the commanding officer of the USS Houston, and the U.S. Navy's Centennial Seven
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about serving as a mentor in the National Naval Officers Association
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his experience as the commanding officer of the USS Houston, and the positive feedback from his mentees
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his first marriage
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks his assignment as the Force Operations Officer for the staff of the Commander for Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the advancement of African Americans in the U.S. Navy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his service on issues of equal opportunity and racial bias in the U.S. Navy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes discusses his service on issues of equal opportunity and racial bias in the U.S. Navy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his assignment as the commanding officer of the U.S. Navy's Recruit Training Command at Great Lakes Naval Base
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - C.A. Tzomes talks about meeting his second wife, Carolyn Eason
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - C.A. Tzomes talks about retiring from the U.S. Navy in 1994, and the Navy's Centennial Seven
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon the fall in the number of black submarine commanding officers since 2009
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - C.A. Tzomes talks about his father's death, his funeral, and the changes in his hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his life and career
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - C.A. Tzomes describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - C.A. Tzomes reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - C.A. Tzomes describes his photographs