Jon Robert Jensen came to the Naval Academy from Seattle, Washington, with his golf clubs on his back and a smile on his face. Jon had a strong desire to be a Naval Officer and pilot, and was determined to work hard to achieve that goal. He minored in Physics and dedicated his four years at USNA to prepare himself for command at sea. Finding Plebe year rather time consuming, Jon was very glad to see graduation day 1967 arrive, when his dreams returned to wine, women, fluffy pillows and holes-in-one. Jon could often be found perfecting his swing on the USNA golf course in fair weather or foul, when not otherwise occupied by company soccer or the ever present pad monster.
Following graduation, Jon headed to Pensacola, FL to obtain his wings of gold. He achieved that goal, flew helicopters, and served twenty years in various related assignments to include Administrative Assistant to the Director of Navy Programming Planning in the Pentagon. Jon was the forward deployed Search and Rescue Commander for Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986 as a brand new XO. Jon later commanded Navy Helicopter Squadron 17 (HS-17) with Carrier Air Wing 13 aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in 1987-88. When Jon relinquished his command in 1988, the CNO was the guest speaker at the Change of Command Ceremony. In addition to being a designated Naval Aviator, Jon also qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and a Naval Parachutist. Jon returned to the Naval Academy to serve as the Fifth Battalion Officer after his command tour.
Following retirement from active service, Jon joined the civilian market in the area of Business Development and Capture Management. He was an extremely successful Capture Executive for Northrop Grumman from 1998-2008, where he led the capture of several large contracts, in the area of major DoD business systems both in the US and Europe. His efforts resulted in more than a billion dollars of business revenue captured for Northrop Grumman. Jon was a hands-on leader who developed capture strategies, lined up business partners, courted local politicians and even helped the proposal team as a writer and reviewer. Jon was viewed as the complete package and highly regarded by all that worked with him.
In 2008, Jon was approached by Hewlett Packard Enterprise Solutions to help them expand their market presence into DoD. He was hired as their Air Force Client Executive in 2009. Jon was just making good progress in developing new business with the Air Force, when he started having some medical issues that were difficult to pin down.
In 2011 Jon was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was later determined to be malignant. Doctors recommended surgery and Jon had as much of the tumor removed as was possible. The immediate improvement was incredible and the old Jon returned. He even got back on the golf course! Unfortunately, the tumor regenerated despite the follow-on treatments. Jon fought an incredibly brave battle until the very end. His daughter Shannon (who he cherished) moved into his Herndon, VA condo (from Kenya where she was an independent photo-journalist) and provided as much support as she could. Several classmates maintained close contact and provided moral support throughout his illness. Despite his heroic efforts and close support of family and friends, Jon passed away on August 24, 2012.
Jon was inurned in the USNA Columbarium with a memorial service that was attended by a large number of classmates, friends, business associates and family. Jon is survived by his wife Jane and daughter Shannon. He will be dearly missed by all who had the pleasure to know, work and serve with him.
Updated: November 15, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore