Paul X. Rinn

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Paul X. Rinn
Paul X. Rinn at USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) commissioning cropped.jpg
CDR Paul X. Rinn, USN at the commissioning of USS Samuel B. Roberts
Born 1946 (age 70–71)
The Bronx, New York City
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1968-1997
Rank Captain
Commands held USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58)
USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55)
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Tanker War
Awards Legion of Merit Combat V
Purple Heart
Meritorious Service Medal 5
Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy Commendation Medal
Navy Achievement Medal
Combat Action Ribbon
John Paul Jones Leadership Award
Relations Wife: Pamela, and three children.

Captain Paul X. Rinn, USN (Ret.), was the first Commanding officer of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) and was in command when the ship struck a mine in the Persian Gulf on April 14, 1988.[1]He later Commanded USS Leyte Gulf (CG-55) and was the Iraqi Embargo Commander in both the Red Sea and later the Persian Gulf.


Paul X. Rinn was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1946. His father was a law school graduate and his mother was a grade school teacher. His older brother Greg was also a naval officer and inspired Rinn to follow in his footsteps. He attended an all-boys Roman Catholic high school in the Bronx Mount Saint Michael Academy graduating in 1964. He then attended Marist College graduating in 1968.[1] Rinn obtained a Masters of Business Administration from Salve Regina College while a student at the Naval War College combining credits from studies at Stanford University, Harvard University and Salve Regina.[2]


Rinn received his commission in 1968 through the Navy's Reserve Officer Candidate program (ROC) at Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport RI.. After commissioning he served on USS Sarsfield (DD-837), a Gearing-class destroyer deploying to South America, The Middle East and the Vietnam Gun line over a three year period. In the early 1970s, Rinn served as a counterinsurgency adviser and military training officer along the Mekong River and was involved in combat operations along the upper reaches of the Mekong River. In 1975, he was the Weapons Officer on USS Blakey FF 1072 a Knox-class frigate and deployed to the Mediterranean for six months. From 1976 through 1979, he served as Operations and Tactics Officer in the First Canadian Destroyer Squadron operating in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean sea. In 1980-81, he attended the Naval War College in Newport RI. and graduated with distinction. He then served as Executive officer on USS Bowen FF-1079, a Knox-class frigate, which deployed to the Mediterranean for anti-submarine operations during which Bowen won an unprecedented two Sixth Fleet "Antisubmarine Hook 'Em awards" for actions against significant real world contacts of interest. Rinn was promoted early to Commander and ordered to be Chief Staff Officer of Destroyer Squadron 36 in Charleston SC. from 1982 to 1984, deploying twice to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf.[1]

As a Commander, he was selected to command Samuel B. Roberts FFG 58 and became involved in her construction at Bath Iron Works, Bath Maine in the fall of 1984. Roberts was commissioned April 12, 1986, with Rinn commanding. After extensive operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean Samuel B Roberts was deployed to the Persian Gulf to participate in "Operation Ernest Will" convoying American flagged shipping and protecting US interests. Samuel B Roberts conducted 12 successful convoys and other interdiction operations in the Northern Persian Gulf but on 14 April 1988 inadvertently entered a tactically laid Iranian minefield and struck an MO-8 mine suffering catostrophic damage that left the ship in a severe sinking condition . However the outstanding performance of the crew saved the ship from sinking without the loss of life. After completing temporary repairs in Dubai and floating Roberts onto the heavy lift vessel "Mighty Servant" Rinn turned over command to CDR John Townes III on June 20, 1988. Rinn was awarded The Legion of Merit with Combat V by the Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff ,Admiral William Crowe, additionally he was awarded the United States Navy League's "Stephen Decatur Award" for Operational Excellence. as well as the United States Congress National Day of Excellence Award. He was also a finalist for the James Bond Stockdale Award for Inspirational Leadership.[1]

Following his tour on Samuel B. Roberts, Rinn lead the United States Navy's Surface Ship Combat Readiness and Survivability office in the Pentagon. He was promoted to Captain in 1990 and served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Surface Warfare. In 1994, he was ordered to Command USS Leyte Gulf CG-55, a Ticonderoga Class AEGIS cruiser named for the battle in which the first USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413 was sunk. He deployed to the Persian Gulf on Leyte Gulf and was the Commander of the Iraqi Oil Embargo Task Force in the Red Sea and later Embargo Commander and Strike Commander in the Northern Persian Gulf. Leyte Gulf was named the top Aegis Cruiser in the Atlantic Fleet winning the "Battle E award" and was a finalist for the coveted " Battenburg Cup" (awarded to the top ship in the Atlantic fleet). Rinn was awarded the United States Navy League's John Paul Jones Inspirational Leadership Award. Following his tour on Leyte Gulf Rinn served in the Pentagon as Special Assistant to two successive Chiefs of Naval Operations.

Captain Paul X. Rinn retired from the United States Navy in 1997. He took an Executive Vice president position at the international consulting firm Whitney Bradley and Brown, near Washington D.C.where he lead the companies largest sector "Management Consulting" until his retirement in 2012.[1]

Rinn was inducted into the Surface Warfare Hall of Fame in 2008.

He is presently President of Rinnspeaks LLC delivering leadership and motivational talks around the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Peniston, Bradley (2006). No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-661-5. 
  2. ^ Naval War College Registra

Further reading[edit]