Born and raised in Wilkinsburg, PA to Mary C. Kirk and Michael J. Gibbons, CAPT Gibbons is the second eldest son of three boys and two girls. Following high school, Gibbons attended University of Tulsa on a track scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1963.
Following college Gibbon enter the Officer Candidate School program in Newport, RI and was commissioned an Ensign on November 22, 1963, the day President JFK was assassinated.
While serving his country, Gibbons married and had five children. He served on aircraft carriers and a destroyer before becoming a cryptologist during the Vietnam War. He was certified as Officer of the Deck (Fleet Operations). He was involved in the Gulf of Tonkin episode and combat action off the coast of North Vietnam where his ship was hit by North Vietnam shore batteries on several occasions.
Captain Gibbons, while on active duty served in the following commands: USS Constellation (CVA 64), 1963-65; USS Turner Joy (DD 951), 1965-67; HQ NAVSECGRU, 1967-69; NSGA Hanza, 1969-72; OIC COMSEVENTHFLT COMSEC TEAM ONE on board USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) and USS Constellation (CVA 64), November 1969 – March 1970; OIC COMSEVETHFLT COMSEC TEAM ALFA – USS Okinawa (LPH 3), August-September 1970; OIC SECGRUDIV USS Midway (CV 41); From 1973-1991 served at various NAVSECGRURES Commands in the Los Angeles as Division Office to Commanding Officer. He retired at the permanent rank of Captain on October 1, 1991 after 28 years of active and reserve Navy service.
Navy Commendation Medal, Medals included Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation (2), Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Korea), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Vietnam), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (5), National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal (2), And various Letters of Appreciation and Commendation.
Source: Echoes of Our Past