Gerald (Jerry) Thomas Milan passed away on September 16, 2023. He was born in Niagara Falls, New York on March 18, 1950, and lived in Orange Park, Florida since 1981.
Jerry was a graduate of Bishop Duffy High School, Niagara Falls, NY; received two Associates Degrees (Science and Arts) from Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ); and received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Florida.
Jerry enlisted in the United States Navy on October 28, 1968, as a Seaman Recruit, E-1, and he steadily advanced in rate to Senior Chief Yeoman, E-8. In April 1983, he received a commission through the Warrant Officer Program and was commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer, W2. He retired from the Navy in 1988 as a Chief Warrant Officer, W3 after 20 years of active service.
Shore tours throughout his career included assignments at Naval Recruiting District, Buffalo New York; Basic Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut, where he graduated with distinction; Staff, Division of Naval Reactors (where he worked for Admiral Rickover), U. S. Department of Energy, Washington, D. C.; and his last tour as Commanding Officer, Naval Brig, Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, FL.
Sea and foreign tours included the Naval Support Activity, DaNang, Republic of Vietnam; Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron FOUR, Patuxent River, Maryland; Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIVE on board USS INDEPENDENCE (CV-62); USS GEORGE BANCROFT (SSBN643) (GOLD); Staff, Commander, Submarine Squadron SIXTEEN, Kings Bay, Georgia; USS AMERICA (CV-66), Norfolk, Virginia; and USS SIMON LAKE (AS-33), Kings Bay, Georgia.
Jerry was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with one Gold Star; Navy Achievement Medal; Navy Unit Commendation; Meritorious Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star; Battle Efficiency “E” (Third Award); Good Conduct Medal with two Bronze Stars; National Defense Service Medal; Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars; Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with one Bronze Star; Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Commendation with Gallantry Cross; Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Ribbon with Gallantry Cross; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon. Additionally, Jerry was “Qualified in Submarines” and earned the right to wear Silver Submarine Dolphins and the Strategic Deterrent Patrol Insignia with two stars.
In January 1989, Jerry joined the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), Department of Corrections as a Corrections Officer. He was promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant with his last assignment as the Training Lieutenant for the Department of Corrections. Jerry was in the first group of Certified Jail Managers (CJM) through the American Jail Association and the first CJM in the State of Florida. Jerry received numerous awards and letters of commendation while serving with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He retired from JSO in January 2011 after 22 years of service.
Jerry was an avid golfer, had recorded four holes-in-one, and loved to play golf with his friends every week. He also volunteered at Clay Humane serving on the Board of Directors since January 2007. Jerry was instrumental in establishing the “Pars fore Paws” golf tournament to help raise funds for Clay Humane.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria (McKinney) Milan; two daughters, Gloria Boyles, and Ronda Rusnak; two sons, Gerald Jr., William Rogers; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren, two sisters, Maureen P. Carroll of Owings, Maryland; and Janet (Chuck) M. Callan of Fredonia, New York.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Clay Humane, 2230 Filmore Street, Orange Park, FL 32065 in his name. (www.clayhumane.org)