Charlie Mitchell, a senior communications major, served three tours of duty while in the U.S. Navy.

The United States Navy celebrates its 245th birthday Oct. 13. 

Charlie Mitchell, a senior communications major from Florence, Kentucky, is one of UofL’s many U.S. Navy veteran students. Mitchell served as a personnel specialist in the Navy from January 2009 to November 2016. That service included three deployments aboard the USS George Washington (CVN73), which brought him to Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Guam, Australia and Malaysia. 

In March 2011 when Japan was hit by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, Mitchell was deployed to Japan to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts. For his efforts, he received the Humanitarian Service Medal. He would subsequently go on to be awarded three United States Navy Achievement medals while serving at the Navy Operational Support Center, Louisville. In 2016, Mitchell ended his Navy career due to ongoing health issues. 

Mitchell, who grew up in Northern Kentucky, has always thought of UofL as a “great school,” and adds the family he married into are “huge supporters of UofL”. When he separated from the Navy, attending UofL was a natural fit.

Currently, Mitchell is employed at Kenway Distributors in Louisville, a business owned by his wife and father in-law. When he graduates, he plans on using his communications degree to help Kenway Distributors, which has been in business for almost 70 years.

The U.S. Navy traces its roots back to the early days of the American Revolution. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established a naval force, hoping that a small fleet of privateers could attack British commerce and offset British sea power.

Story written by Kyle Hurwitz, director of Military Initiatives and associate director of Online Military Student Programs.