KARL GATZKE, MBA
Karl first entered active duty Navy in August 1987 where he was trained as an Operations Specialist. His first assignment landed him on a World War II icon, USS IOWA (BB-61) aka The Big Stick. There he travelled to the Mediterranean completing two full deployments supporting missions in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Karl is a veteran of the Gulf War (90-91) where he completed his active service and returned home to join the US Naval Reserve.
In 1993, Karl volunteered for Active Reserve Duty (AD) as a Navy Hometown Veteran and Reserve Recruiter assigned to NMCRC Richmond, VA. Karl excelled at recruiting civilians into the Sea and Air Mariner Reserve-Select Program (SAM) and offered additional duties as the Prior-Service Recruiter supporting billets throughout Virginia, continuing his active service.
Karl again volunteered in 2006 in support of the Navy’s Individual Augmentee program (AA) and was assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas where he trained for 4 months in US Army combat infantry, ground support, convoy operations, and detainee operations. After successfully completing training with the Army, Karl was selected as Sr. Enlisted Line Officer for Detainee Operations duty in Camp Bucca, Iraq.
In Iraq, Karl led 32 personnel from both reserve and active units that processed and stood guard over 1000+ detained Iraqi civilians awaiting trial for suspected crimes against US Troops. Under his command no US personnel were lost in combat and zero detainees escaped. Camp Bucca survived 24 mortar and numerous sniper attacks from foreign combatants during his tour. For his time in Iraq, Karl received the Navy Commendation Medal.
Karl continued his career as a Navy Reserve Recruiting Manager and completed Full-Time-Support (FTS) service in 2009 when he retired from active duty.
After service, Karl completed his education and received a Bachelor’s degree Management and a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Karl leveraged his experience recruiting for the Navy Reserve and Leadership learned from Iraq into corporate positions in Sales, Project Management, and Operations.
In his off time, Karl and his wife Tracey enjoy riding rails-to-trails-30mile biking trails to tackle along with hiking NC Mountains, kayaking, and exploring travelling the US.
Something unique about Karl. He also competed with the Pan American Dragon Boat Association as a member of the Jacksonville Chapter where his team won 5-gold medals for their age group for the 2017 season and raised money to support survivors of breast cancer.