CDR Ray Kochey, Bechtelsville, retires from U.S. Navy; ceremony held at the Pentagon Memorial Chapel

Submitted photo CDR Ray Kochey retired from the US Navy with a ceremony held in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 5.
Submitted photo CDR Ray Kochey retired from the US Navy with a ceremony held in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 5.

CDR Ray Kochey retired from the US Navy with a ceremony held in the Pentagon Memorial Chapel on Saturday, April 5. He served a combined 24 years of active and reserve service and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the ceremony.

Kochey’s service included two tours of duty as a Navy Carrier Pilot flying the E-2C Hawkeye, Training Air Wing One Landing Signals Officer flying the A-4 Skyhawk, C-9 Pilot as a member of VR-52 in Willow Grove, and Executive Officer of CNO Operations and Plans unit in the Pentagon.

Raised in Boyertown area, he graduated with the class of 1985. Following high school, he enrolled at the University of Michigan through an NROTC scholarship and graduated in January 1990 with a BSE degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. He reported for Naval Flight Training at Pensacola Florida and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1991.

Kochey flew the E-2C Hawkeye command and surveillance aircraft out of Norfolk Virginia with the VAW-122 “Steeljaws” and the VAW-121 “Bluetails”. His missions included counternarcotic operations in the Caribbean and operations Decisive Endeavor over Bosnia Herzegovina and Southern Watch over Kuwait and Iraq while deployed aboard the USS George Washington.

Kochey’s first shore tour was with the VT-7 “Eagles” based in Meridian MS, flying the venerable A-4J Skyhawk as an instructor pilot for advanced navy jet training. He was eventually assigned as the Training Wing One Landing Signals Officer (LSO) responsible for the initial carrier qualification of student naval aviators where he also flew the T-2 Buckeye and the T-45 Goshawk.

Kochey left active duty in March 2001 and currently flies for United Airlines out of Newark, NJ as a First Officer on the Boeing 737. He remained affiliated as a reservist with the VR-52 “Taskmasters” flying the C-9 Skytrain out of NASJRB Willow Grove, Pa.

During his 7 years with the Taskmasters he provided naval logistical support both domestically and worldwide, flying missions to over 35 countries. Kochey’s current assignment is at the Pentagon in the National Millitary Command Center on the Navy Watch Floor.

In 1990 Ray was married to the former Tracy Reinert, also of Boyertown. They currently reside in Bechtelsville with their three children, Samantha, Paige and Grant.

Submitted by the Kochey family