Photo By Evan Crawley | In May 2019, NUWC Division Newport was recognized with a R.I. Employer Support of Guard and Reserve Award. Brig. Gen.-select Michael Comstock (from left), commanding officer at the 143rd R.I. Air National Guard Airlift Wing, NUWC Technical Director Ron Vien and Staff Sgt. John Vannucci, gathered for a photo at the ceremony held in North Kingstown.

Story by Public Affairs Office / Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport 

NEWPORT, R.I. — During the week, John Vannucci, a visual information specialist at Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, uses his skills in visual media to tell stories about the workforce. On some weekends, Vannucci serves as a broadcast journalist as a staff sergeant in the R.I. Air National Guard, sharing more stories about those who serve in the military.

His most recent work at Division Newport was editing the “Many Voices” video for a presentation on diversity and inclusion by Naval Sea Systems Command, Division Newport’s parent command. Earlier this year, Vannucci served an extended duty for the R.I. Air National Guard as they supported pandemic response efforts throughout the state. Many of those efforts are posted on Facebook:

Vannucci joined the Marine Corps after high school in 1993 and traveled around the world for a variety of visual information assignments. After separating from the Marines in 2002, Vannucci worked in a wide range of jobs from pest control to public affairs for the Veterans Administration.

In March of 2016, Vannucci joined Division Newport’s Graphics and Imaging Branch in the Public and Congressional Affairs Division. Since then, he has directed some other high-profile projects including the Command’s “Minute Videos,” Advanced Naval Technology Exercise videos at both Newport and Gulfport, Mississippi, and the “5S” and “HVL” videos for the Continuous Process Improvement office. Some samples of his Division Newport work is posted on Division Newport’s Facebook page:

A San Francisco, California, native Vannucci and his family reside in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He’s a diehard San Francisco 49ers fan and he spends his free time with his wife Karrie creating games and playscapes for their children, Bella and Luca. He recently answered some questions about his service in the Guard:

Q: What is a typical weekend of Guard service like?

A: There is no typical Guard weekend for me and there is a lot that I love about serving in the Guard. One of those things is that my job allows me to tell the stories of people throughout the Air and Army Guard. I love learning about and helping people tell stories especially about jobs that many people don’t even know exist. One of my favorite projects was getting to spend a day with Senior Airman John Mullaney, who supports the Guard’s electrical environmental systems and works as a McLaughlin Research Corp. contractor in Division Newport’s Logistics and Fleet Support Branch in the Undersea Warfare Platforms and Payload Integration Department. [To see the video visit:]

Q: What’s your most notable exercise?

A: Activating for the Rhode Island COVID pandemic response — Being part of a joint Public Affairs team and getting to work together with the Army Public Affairs Detachment was a wonderful life experience. I believe Rhode Island has one of, if not the best, Guard public affairs teams in the country and getting to work so closely with them for three months was an amazing learning experience because there is just so much talent there. We worked a lot of long hours but collaborated with so many people who all want to do everything they can to help fight the pandemic and serve the people of Rhode Island. There were just a lot of heartwarming moments and I was humbled by the dedication I saw around me.

Q: Why did you sign up for the Guard?

A: In my first military career I was a combat camera Marine from 1993 to 2002, and since getting out I started to feel the call to serve again. It took me a while to get to a place where I knew I was home but my family and I fell in love with Rhode Island almost immediately. I mean, Aquidneck Island is amazing! — farms and beaches, what more do you want?

Q: What advice do you have for anyone interested in Guard duty?

A: I would recommend serving in the R.I. Air National Guard to anyone who wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves and wants to serve the people of Rhode Island. We have an amazing recruiting team who are not just there to get you into the organization but to assist you throughout your time with the Air Guard to achieve any career or educational goals you may have. I feel so lucky to be part of two organizations where such effort is made to make everyone know the value they bring to the whole. For more information about the R.I Air National Guard contact Master Sgt. Rob Rossi at 401-639-2566.

NUWC Division Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher’s Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.