Captain Shapes Inexperienced Students for Meaningful Life with Ralph Janikowsky

Imagine being the captain of a billion-dollar US Navy ship with some 400 young sailors under your command. Lots of habits to form, discipline to instill, and curiosity and courage to awaken…talk about raising the next generation. My guest, Ralph Janikowsky, today shares many engaging stories of how to effectively shape character and form Biblical ethics on board his ship. Many of these same principles used in the Navy, he now follows in leading a K-12 classical Christian school. Whether you are commanding a warship at sea, a classroom at school, or a family at home, you won’t want to miss Ralph’s stories and insight.

Ralph is a graduate of distinction of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds a Masters of Arts in Strategic Studies from the National War College, graduating as the top naval officer in his class.

Ralph has commanded a Spruance class destroyer and an Aegis cruiser, having been chosen as one of only twelve from a pool of over a thousand candidates. In that role, Ralph was responsible for over 400 sailors and a $1 billion ship. Ralph retired from sea life as a decorated captain, after serving as:

  • Chief Engineer of USS VIRGINIA (CGN 38)
  • Commanding Officer, USS HEWITT (DD 966) in Yokosuka, Japan. Earned Battle E, Golden Anchor, 7th Fleet ASW and ASUW awards
  • Commanding Officer, USS PRINCETON (CG 59) Earned Battle E, Golden Anchor, AW for Iraqi Freedom, and awarded PACFLEET Spokane Trophy
  • Director of Navy Program Analysis and Budgeting in the Pentagon
  • Surface Nuclear Officer Community Manager in both PERS 41 and 42. (Good title for an upper school dean…)

Transitioning from naval captain to classical Christian school administrator, Ralph served 10 years as the Upper School Principal of Rockbridge Academy in Maryland and is now in his seventh year as Headmaster of Westminster Academy in Memphis.