Criminal Defense Attorney in Goose Creek, SC

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Fighting For You

When you are charged with a crime or are involved in an accident, it can seem like the world is crashing down around you. Between the threat of incarceration and the chance of financial loss, these foreboding situations often feel overwhelming. Friends and family cut ties, your employer threatens termination, and life seems hopeless. It is imperative to have a fighter on your side during these trying times: one that will stick with you through thick and thin, without any judgments.

Welcome to the Law Office of Richard Waring: where defending your rights and freedoms is paramount in securing your future.

Richard implements a powerfully simple yet effective model for all his clients' cases:

  • The Relentless Pursuit of a Positive Outcome
  • The Use of Creative Problem-Solving Tactics
  • Excellent Communication

When you are ready to fight back against the allegations against you, it is time to call the Law Office of Richard Waring - a criminal defense attorney on Goose Creek, SC, with the knowledge, experience, and drive to defend you during your most difficult time.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

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Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

From Prosecution to Protecting Your Rights in Goose Creek

Richard Waring began his commitment to community service years ago. As a young man, he would spend his summers volunteering his time to help needy communities.

As an adult, his desire to help others manifested itself while I served as a prosecutor for "close to 10 years."?. During this time, he would take part in some of the most difficult trials in the Lowcountry's history. He prosecuted thousands of individuals for crimes such as assault and battery, armed robbery, drug crimes, DUI, financial crimes, and even murder.
His time as a prosecutor was priceless, giving him valuable insight and knowledge into the inner workings of Goose Creek's legal system. Today, Richard uses that experience to vigorously defend good, hardworking men and women whose freedoms are only one judgment away from disappearing.
Whether you made a mistake and need a second chance or have been wrongfully accused of a crime, you need a professional who has put in time on both sides. At the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest easy knowing this former prosecutor will fight tooth and nail for your freedom.

Criminal Defense

When you are charged with a crime, it can become a horrible experience. The range of emotions one goes through can be taxing: embarrassment, humiliation, regret, sadness, despair. The domino effect that often happens when charged with a crime can be awful, as well: loss of job, abandonment by your family or significant other, dirty looks from those in your community.

Fortunately, a criminal defense attorney in Goose Creek, SC, can help restore your reputation and repair your life. In times of legal crises, your friends and family may cut ties, but Richard Waring will be on your side from the time you call his office to the time your case is resolved.

Having prosecuted thousands of cases in South Carolina, Richard has a set of skills and experiences; assets that have guided him to win criminal cases against the government. Richard truly knows the criminal justice system's ins and outs and is dedicated to fighting for his clients to achieve the best possible outcome on their criminal cases.

While some cases result in a positive outcome quickly, others must go to trial. Much like a combat athlete trains for months, hones his or her skills, and goes to war with an opponent, Richard Waring has prepared for and battled it out in many high-profile trials.

When you trust the Law Office of Richard Waring, you can rest assured that you are in capable hands. Each of our criminal defense clients receives the following when entrusting Richard Waring as their criminal defense lawyer in Goose Creek:

  • Vigorous representation
  • Quick response to emails and phone calls
  • Compassionate, understanding treatment
  • You will never be treated as unimportant or second-rate
  • Thorough investigation for your case
  • All of your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial, upheld
  • Notifications of important updates

The following are common cases that Richard Waring can handle for you:

  • Misdemeanor DUI/DWI
  • Felony DUI/DWI
  • Violent Crimes including: Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature, Assault and Battery, Attempted Murder, and Murder
  • Strong Armed Robbery
  • Armed Robbery
  • Drug Crimes
  • Manufacturing of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Distribution of Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Heroin, Crack, or Cocaine
  • Gun crimes including: pointing or present a firearm, possession of a pistol with obliterated serial numbers, possession of a stolen pistol
  • Restoration of Your Gun Rights
  • Trespassing
  • Larceny and Burglary
  • Property Crimes
  • Domestic Violence
  • Shoplifting
  • Financial Crimes including: Forgery, financial transaction card theft, fake IDs, breach of trust, obtaining goods by false pretenses
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Minor in Possession of Alcohol
  • Traffic Crimes including: driving without a license, speeding, reckless or careless driving
Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Importance Of Your Criminal Defense Attorney In Goose Creek, SC

There are several key players in the criminal justice system, each with its own roles. The prosecutor is tasked with enforcing laws and convicting offenders. The judge serves as an unbiased decision-maker. The criminal defense attorney's role is to protect the rights of the individual who is charged with a crime - a vitally important role in the criminal justice world.

Having a proactive, experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side almost always improves your chance of a positive outcome. While their primary role is to defend your rights and protect you from excessive sentences, they have many other duties.

When you entrust Richard Waring as your defense advocate, he will fight to protect your rights throughout the case by:

  • Arguing in court to reduce how much you must pay to post bail
  • Being present during police interrogations and interviews
  • Discovering and applying potent legal defenses
  • Advising you on your decision to plead guilty, not guilty, or to go to trial (if applicable)
  • Explaining the implications of pleading guilty
  • Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses relating to the allegations against you
  • Meticulously examining the circumstance surrounding your search and arrest (if applicable) to uncover Fourth Amendment violations
  • Meticulously examining any drug or DUI-related chemical tests to ensure accuracy and uncover errors
  • Representing you during scheduled hearings
  • Representing you during a jury trial
  • Working with the prosecutor to discuss plea deals or the possibility of a reduced sentence
  • If convicted, representing you during the sentencing phase and arguing on your behalf for a fair sentence

Knowing Your Rights

As a defendant, you have important rights. Some of the rights that Richard Waring will fight to protect on your behalf are:

  • The right to a speedy trial
  • The right to remain silent
  • The right against unreasonable seizures and searches
  • The right against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right against cruel and unusual punishment
  • In most cases, the right to a jury trial
  • The right of innocence until proven guilty
  • The right to legal representation

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Goose Creek, the government must supply you with a public defender.

While United States law does not mandate that a defense attorney be assigned to a defendant, the prosecutor must uphold your right to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney in Goose Creek, the government must supply you with a public defender.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC
Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Criminal Case Timeline In Goose Creek, SC

If you or a member of your family is facing criminal charges in Goose Creek, there is no doubt that you are anxious about the road ahead. You are not alone - most of our criminal defense clients worry about the uncertainties surrounding the legal process and what is next in their case.

At the Law Office of Richard Waring, we empathize with this stress, and as such, make every effort to address anxiety-inducing questions like:

  • How long will it take for my case to be resolved?
  • What type of sentence is common for the crime in which I am being accused?
  • Will the prosecutor offer me a favorable plea deal?

We cannot answer these questions in detail until we have time to review your case and speak with you one-on-one. Until that time, this high-level view of Goose Creek's criminal case timeline can offer some insight into what lies ahead.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Arrest and Investigation

This is the first step in the criminal case timeline. During this time, police officer(s) will investigate the potential crime at hand and arrest whomever the officer(s) believes to be responsible. At this point, the person in question is considered a Defendant.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Initial Bond Setting

Shortly after the arrest (typically within the same day), defendants are granted an initial bond hearing. This short proceeding determines whether a defendant will be released from jail while charges are pending. It is wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Goose Creek, SC, before this hearing so that they may argue on your behalf.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Preliminary Hearing

The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence (or probable cause) for the case to carry on. Defendants must request this hearing within 20 days of their initial bond setting. Hearings typically commence within three to six weeks. It is especially important that defendants retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Initial Appearance

The main purpose of this court date is to determine if the defendant has hired an attorney or will need a public defender appointed to them. If you have an attorney before this hearing, defendants are not required to be present. The initial appearance typically happens 45 days after the arrest.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Plea Offers

n some cases, the State may offer a plea offer to the defendant. If the defendant accepts this deal, a hearing will be scheduled to finalize the defendant's acceptance. If the defendant pleads guilty, they are typically sentenced on the spot. If the defendant rejects the plea, he or she may have to go before the judge to ensure they understand the consequences of rejecting a plea offer.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Discovery

Under Rule 5 of the South Carolina Rules of Criminal Procedure, the defendant will receive all evidence that will be used against them. As your criminal defense attorneys in Goose Creek, we will submit a written request to the court to obtain this information. It may take the State weeks or months to turn over their evidence, especially if that evidence is new.

Criminal Defense Attorney Goose Creek, SC

Indictment

The first barrier for the State to prosecute takes place during the preliminary hearing. The second occurs during the indictment phase. In general terms, an indictment is a document that details the criminal charges which the defendant must face. Each crime listed on the indictment is called a "count." During this phase, the State will gather a "grand jury" comprised of public citizens. This jury is presented with evidence to help them approve or disapprove of the charges contained in the indictment. If the indictment is approved, the defendant's case will proceed to trial. If it is rejected, charges are usually dropped.

Trial

During the trial, both the defense and prosecution will present evidence to a jury, who will hand down a final verdict. The prosecutor's job during the trial is to convince the jury, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty. The defendant is under no obligation to prove anything. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, Richard Waring will work hard to convince the jury of his client's innocence while pointing out holes in the prosecution's case.

Typically, a trial in Goose Creek includes the following phases:

  • Jury Selection
  • Pre-Trial Motions
  • Opening Statements
  • The State's Case
  • Directed Verdict
  • The Defense's Case
  • The State's Rebuttal
  • Closing Arguments
  • Jury Instructions and Deliberation
  • Verdict and Sentencing

Latest News in Goose Creek, SC

How a new 300-unit apartment complex will shake up the Goose Creek area in the future

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — Tonight, the City of Goose Creek is expected finalize its plans for a new 300-unit apartment complex coming to Henry Brown Boulevard, as the city’s Board of Architectural Review will make its final recommendations to the developers for adjustments.The complex will take up 24 acres adjacent to Henry Brown Blvd. With 10 three-story buildings surrounding a central pond. The complex will include amenities such as a dog park, pedestrian walkway and a five-story garage.However, it has been a lon...

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) — Tonight, the City of Goose Creek is expected finalize its plans for a new 300-unit apartment complex coming to Henry Brown Boulevard, as the city’s Board of Architectural Review will make its final recommendations to the developers for adjustments.

The complex will take up 24 acres adjacent to Henry Brown Blvd. With 10 three-story buildings surrounding a central pond. The complex will include amenities such as a dog park, pedestrian walkway and a five-story garage.

However, it has been a long time coming to get to this point. The conceptual design was initially approved over a decade ago. The development is zoned under a “Pre-Existing Development” which outdates projects which were approved by the current city council and Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib.

But with the population in goose creek growing by over 25 percent over the past decade, the main concern for residents is making sure the infrastructure is in place to fit the current state of the city.

“I feel that we're kind of at the mercy of the builder at this point, because they were approved so long ago, before the vision of what it should be for Goose Creek. So, anything that the [Board of Architectural Review] recommends or anything like that, it's kind of limited what they can do,” Goose Creek Resident Eric Bennett said.

“I really think that the city council, I think that the mayor is working with these builders and talking to them, and seeing how they can come to some middle ground and anytime that you're able to communicate, anytime that people are willing to meet in the middle, then everybody wins," Bennett continued.

Since the project was approved already the BAR can’t stop or reject the apartment complex from being built. The board of architectural review will make recommendations including lighting, signage and elevation at tonight’s meeting.

But the question for a lot of residents remains how those in charge will handle the project which was approved in a very different Goose Creek than we are seeing today.

There are already some changes in the works as the city has is nearly two years into their project to expand a portion of Henry Brown Blvd. from a two lane road to a four lane road.

The bigger concern for residents is the infrastructure around the building, with one of the key elements being storm water management. This has been a problem for the city and greater Berkeley County area for a while, especially after we saw flooding impacts from Hurricane Ian and Tropical storm Nicole hit those areas.

While some say the complex isn’t a negative for the city, residents do say they want to see the right steps made in the implementation of this new building to fit into the city’s current structure.

“The challenge that you have, though is where does the money come to get that infrastructure put in place? And the answer to that is to the growth, right? Putting these projects and the impact fees that come from these projects towards that infrastructure, the tax revenue, and everything else from the property taxes and stuff is what's going to drive the ability to improve that infrastructure,” Bennett said.

In a statement provided to us from the City of goose creek officials says in part quote:

All stormwater requirements required by the county will be in place for these or any developments.

But there was no statement on whether the city or county as a whole would plan to change any of those with the new building in place. It is important to note most of the Stormwater Management or external infrastructure management comes from Berkley County and not the city of Goose Creek.

City officials also said developers now need to have any new apartment complex approved by the current mayor and council for full approval. Something which was not in place when this complex was approved.

The city's Board of Architectural Review meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.

Goose Creek providing extra funding to city staff and golf course renovations

More money for city employees and renovations to Crowfield Golf Club -- The City of Goose Creek unanimously approved these new ordinances to keep up with competGOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Goose Creek unanimously approved new ordinances that will provide more money for city employees and renovations to Crowfield Golf Club in an effort to keep up with competition.People who play Crowfield Golf Club say these renovations will improve their overall experience at the course. As far as funding is concerned, the city says t...

More money for city employees and renovations to Crowfield Golf Club -- The City of Goose Creek unanimously approved these new ordinances to keep up with compet

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Goose Creek unanimously approved new ordinances that will provide more money for city employees and renovations to Crowfield Golf Club in an effort to keep up with competition.

People who play Crowfield Golf Club say these renovations will improve their overall experience at the course. As far as funding is concerned, the city says they are using money they already have to pay for this, and they’ll still have some left over for employee bonuses.

The City of Goose Creek approves merit one-time bonuses for both full and part-time employees. City officials say the longer someone has been employed by the city in addition to their end of year evaluation, they can be eligible for up to $1,500 in bonus pay. This money is coming from savings in the city’s 2022 budget and will total at least $315,000.

Frank Johnson, spokesperson for City of Goose Creek, says employees will also be given a cost-of-living increase of 5% across the board.

“It’s just saying thank you to our city employees,” Johnson said. “It’s a way to stay competitive in a region where there are a lot of other municipalities out there. We are the best municipality. So, we want to make sure we are attracting the best talent. It’s about attracting and retaining talent for city employees.”

The City of Goose Creek will also expand the club house at Crowfield Golf Club with adding outside covered seating area for the bar and grille and extra space to host events.

Megan Leland, who plays at Crowfield Golf Club, says the club house needs to be improved.

“It’ll be able to fit more people because right now it’s very tiny,” Leland said. “And just a little bit of people is really echoey and loud.”

John Reilly, who started playing at Crowfield in July, says it will be more beneficial for everyone that comes here.

Mike Cool is also an avid player at the club.

“This is an asset for the city of Goose Creek and these improvements will do nothing but improve the asset the city owns,” Cool said.

The renovations will be paid for using the city’s hospitality tax under the 2022 budget, and what’s leftover will come from American Rescue Plan Act funding.

Andy Motroni, another golfer, says there’s a lot of ways to spend leftover money.

“Maybe not giving it out in the first place would’ve been a good idea, but nonetheless, now that it’s here and it needs to be spent, I think it is a good a way to spend it as any,” Motroni said.

These golfers, like Braylee Wright, say the renovations will bring interested players and hopefully more members to the club.

“We can have more people who don’t play golf come up here and realize how good of a sport it is and after you can chill out in the club house and hang out,” Wright said. “So, I think it’s good.”

The merit one-time bonuses for all eligible employees will be issued on Dec. 16. As far as the club house, there is no set timeline for construction, but city officials say the plans will be put out to bid in the next several months.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Pink Energy customers, attorneys turn focus to lending companies

An FTC rule means customers could get their money back for the underperforming solar panels.GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WBTV) - Tina Willis says she’s still waiting for the promises made by her Pink Energy salesman came to fruition.“My electric bill never went away because it never was even working,” Willis said.Willis financed $70,000 worth of solar panels and other system add-ons from Pink Energy based on promises that they would cut her energy costs at her home in Goose Creek, SC.“Now I’v...

An FTC rule means customers could get their money back for the underperforming solar panels.

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WBTV) - Tina Willis says she’s still waiting for the promises made by her Pink Energy salesman came to fruition.

“My electric bill never went away because it never was even working,” Willis said.

Willis financed $70,000 worth of solar panels and other system add-ons from Pink Energy based on promises that they would cut her energy costs at her home in Goose Creek, SC.

“Now I’ve got a 25-year loan, nobody to service my panels, nobody to take care of the warranty issues,” Willis said.

In its bankruptcy filing, Pink Energy listed more than 30,000 customers and creditors, but Willis’ attorney Andrew Connor says few are likely to see any settlement money.

“It appears that there are no assets to the company and so the 3,000 pages worth of creditors that have been listed in that filing, at least as to Pink Energy, are out of luck,” Connor said.

Connor and Willis are focusing their efforts on the loan company, Goodleap. It isn’t the only lender that partnered with Pink Energy but it’s one of the most common.

Pink Energy customers who sent emails to Goodleap asking for help with their loans, started getting responses from the lender saying reimbursements were unlikely since Pink filed for bankruptcy.

Connor and other attorneys say lenders like Goodleap are responsible under the Federal Trade Commission Holder Rule, which Connor says could help clients like Willis recover money they’ve already paid on their loans.

“The Holder Rule allows her to sue Goodleap up to that $20,000 amount,” Connor said.

But Goodleap’s loan agreement forces consumers into private arbitration. Unlike filing a lawsuit, arbitration mostly happens in secret, making it difficult to track how many customers are filing cases, whether they’re successful, and what’s discovered in the hearings.

WBTV previously uncovered a loan application filled out with the help of Pink salesmen that mis-stated a customer’s annual income. The inflated income makes it easier to get approved for a loan an applicant might not qualify for.

I’ve got another client who makes $800 a month on disability,” Connor said.

“They had inflated his monthly income to $15,000.”

Connor says the lenders are also charging “Dealer Fees” that aren’t aways disclosed to the consumer.

Documents obtained by WBTV show Goodleap’s formula, charging Dealer Fees upwards of 20% while keeping the interest rate low and attractive to customers. Other lenders have similar formulas.

“So, what should have been a $40,000 loan maybe is now a $60,000 loan,” Connor said.

WBTV emailed Goodleap to ask about the Holder Rule, arbitration, and Dealer Fees. The company did not provide a response.

“I just can’t see paying somebody for something that doesn’t work,” Willis said.

Consumers seeking an attorney to represent them can find a member of the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

Copyright 2022 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Goose Creek backs up region title with win over rival Stratford

GOOSE CREEK — The Goose Creek Gators reeled in their fourth straight region championship last week, and added the city championship to their 2022 resume Friday night.Overcoming a handful of turnovers and other gaffes, the Gators maintained possession of the Golden Goose trophy with a 25-20 victory at rival Stratford at Ray Stackley Field on Oct. 28.The win was the second straight in the series and 13th in 16 meetings for the Gators (4-6), who completed a clean sweep of all four Region 6-AAAAA foes after starting off 0-5. ...

GOOSE CREEK — The Goose Creek Gators reeled in their fourth straight region championship last week, and added the city championship to their 2022 resume Friday night.

Overcoming a handful of turnovers and other gaffes, the Gators maintained possession of the Golden Goose trophy with a 25-20 victory at rival Stratford at Ray Stackley Field on Oct. 28.

The win was the second straight in the series and 13th in 16 meetings for the Gators (4-6), who completed a clean sweep of all four Region 6-AAAAA foes after starting off 0-5. It wasn’t the best version of the Gators, but their performance was enough to head into the Class AAAAA playoffs with some momentum.

Gators coach Jason Winstead knows his bunch has plenty to work on in practice starting Monday.

“We always tell our kids there are three parts to the season,” Winstead said. “Our first part didn’t go great, but we were 4-0 in the region and that’s what you aim for in part two. Now, it’s time for the most important part. Tonight wasn’t always pretty but you knew (Stratford) coach Dennie McDaniel would have his guys ready.”

The Gators open the playoffs at home Nov. 4 against West Ashley, a tough squad from Region 7-AAAAA.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Winstead said. “They’re coming over to our place with a 7-3 record. Their defense is really good. We better be playing our best football.”

Stratford dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-3 in the region. The Knights had possession down one score with 3:08 left at their own 20 and moved up toward midfield with under two minutes left before coming up just short on a fourth-and-4 with 1:35 remaining.

The Gators knelt down twice to run out the clock.

Goose Creek senior quarterback Drew Moore endured a wild night, throwing three touchdowns to receiver Davion Malloy and running for another score, but also heaving four interceptions. Three of the picks came in the first quarter and Stratford capitalized on two to lead 14-6, but Moore settled down and played better the rest of the way.

“Drew had a rough first quarter,” Winstead said. “Two of those were batted balls on our part but nice plays by Stratford. We’re going to ride with Drew.”

The Gators were fortunate to lead, 18-14, at the break after Stratford picked off those four passes. The Knights were on the verge of taking an advantage into the break, marching more than 70 yards in the closing minutes of the second quarter following Brenden Carter’s second interception.

Instead, Knights quarterback Jachin Davis lost a fumble at the Gators’ 2 with under a minute remaining in the second quarter and Gators defensive back Gabe White was there to recover.

Stratford received the opening kickoff of the second half, but was forced to punt and Goose Creek went 75 yards in eight plays to extend its advantage at the 7:59 mark of the third quarter. Moore’s 11-yard touchdown connection to Malloy and Maya Gonzalez’s extra point made it, 25-14.

The Knights didn’t go away, though, pulling within 25-20 on Davis’s 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jalen Barry on the second play of the fourth quarter. Gators defensive back Troy Reid knocked down the pass on the 2-point conversion to keep the lead at five.

Stratford had three more chances on the way in but couldn’t break back on top. The Gators came up with a fumble recovery at their own 18 with 9:28 left to stymie the Knights’ best chance to take the lead.

“I’m really proud of our defense and coaches to finish the way we did,” Winstead said. “We’ve had some moments where we didn’t play very well on that side of the ball this year. They stepped up tonight.”

In the first quarter, Stratford converted Moore’s first interception into a 3-yard touchdown run by Darrell Holmes less than two minutes in and had another opportunity following Carter’s first interception, but punted through the end zone.

The Gators dented the scoreboard for the first time on their second drive, going 80 yards to score on Moore’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Malloy. Running back Meliq McGowan’s 38-yard run was a key play on the drive. However, the extra point clanked off the left upright and Stratford led, 7-6, with 5:01 remaining in the opening period.

Stratford wasn’t done picking off passes, though, and turned Moore’s third interception into a 20-yard scoring drive following a Jaden Washington pick. Tim Lloyd’s 3-yard run and Matt Haas extra point put the Knights up, 14-6, at the 1:54 mark of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Gators scored on drives of 75 and 80 yards to go up, 18-14, and never trailed again. Neither 2-point conversion was good. Moore’s 1-yard run capped the shorter one and a 38-yard strike to Malloy with 7:29 remaining in the half gave the Gators their first lead.

First Woman to Serve as a Submarine XO Reports for Duty

From Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly Crawford, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs “It’s 2022 and women are still doing the ‘first’ of things?” is how Lt. Cmdr. Amber Cowan started her conversation in the Public Affairs office at Submarine Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The submarine officer stopped by for an interview between classes while completing the Submarine Command Course in Pearl Harbor. The Colorado Springs, Colo. native has two grandfathers who se...

From Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly Crawford, Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

“It’s 2022 and women are still doing the ‘first’ of things?” is how Lt. Cmdr. Amber Cowan started her conversation in the Public Affairs office at Submarine Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The submarine officer stopped by for an interview between classes while completing the Submarine Command Course in Pearl Harbor. The Colorado Springs, Colo. native has two grandfathers who served in the U.S. Air Force, and she attended the University of Washington on a scholarship from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, her head full of dreams of becoming an aviator. Her eyesight kept her grounded, but then the opportunity to be among the first women to serve aboard submarines opened up. It was everything she was looking for, and she’s never looked back.

On Nov. 12, 2022 Cowan became the executive officer (XO) of the Gold Crew of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Kentucky (SSBN 737), making her the first woman to serve as XO of a U.S. Navy submarine.

Cowan was in the first cohort of women to serve aboard submarines. After graduating from the University of Washington in 2010, she received her first set of orders to attend Nuclear Power School in Goose Creek, South Carolina, the first of many schools required for submarine officers. The Nuclear Power School curriculum covered topics like math, physics, chemistry and nuclear reactor technology, and after completing Power School she attended Naval Prototype Training Unit and Submarine Officer Basic course. Then Cowan, along with the rest of her classmates, reported to submarines across the Navy as division officers.

Cowan’s first boat was the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN 741) (Blue). Over the course of three years, which included three-and-a-half strategic deterrence patrols, she served as the Main Propulsion Assistant, Damage Control Assistant and Tactical Systems Officer.

“I started in the engine room, which is where we build our foundation,” said Cowan. “It teaches officers to trust their enlisted counterparts and also have ownership of and in a watch team.”

One of Cowan’s favorite memories from her division officer tour is from a duty day, when she found herself making rounds at night as the Engineering Duty Officer and Ship’s Duty Officer. Her ship was in dry dock at the time, and as she walked around and under the nearly 600-foot submarine she thought to herself, “I can’t believe it is my job to be in charge of this!”

Following her time with Maine (Blue), she served as the Assistant Nuclear Programs Coordinator at Naval Service Training Command in Pensacola, Fla., and then attended the Submarine Officer’s Advanced Course in Groton, Conn. in preparation to serve as a department head.

By May of 2017 Cowan was serving as the Engineering Officer aboard the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS Texas (SSN 775). On Texas, she enjoyed seeing the difference in attack submarine missions compared to her previous experience aboard a ballistic missile submarine. Cowan observed that regardless of the platform, working as a team with the other Sailors on board was essential to mission success.

“A lot of submarining is communicating with others and understanding the people-to-people dynamic in a stressful environment,” Cowan explained.

After Texas, Cowan served at Commander, U.S. Submarine Forces Pacific Fleet as the Force Radiological Controls Officer. When she was selected to serve as an XO, she began the Submarine Command Course at the Naval Submarine Training Center, Pacific.

While the mantle of being the first at something may weigh heavy at times, Cowan takes it all in stride and remembers the inspiring words of one of her grandfathers, who told her, “If anybody’s going to do it, you gotta show ‘em how to do it right.”

Her passion for what she does is visible when she speaks. She talks about submarining as a verb, and fondly remembers the many ‘we really just did that’ moments she’s shared with her shipmates underway. While some may relish shore duty, she’s genuinely excited to be going back to a boat.

“I have missed being a part of a crew, and solving problems together as a team,” said Cowan.

Cowan had this to say to anyone considering the silent service:

“I, we, need smart talented people like you. If you are good with team success, the submarine force is for you as well. It’s going to challenge you in ways you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.”

As of November 2022, women Sailors are assigned to 28 operational submarine crews. Based on overall retention rates and high accession source interest, the Submarine Force plans to integrate 33 submarine crews by 2030.

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