The XO Of The USS Nimitz Has His Own “Dirty Jobs” Series Aboard The Carrier

America’s oldest active aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is currently sailing in the Pacific region where she will soon join two other American supercarriers and their strike groups for a massive training evolution and show of force. But beneath the headlines is the reality that in order to make such a grand display of American might happen, everyone has to do their job. For the Nimitz this means each of her 5,500 sailors needs to do their part in keeping the 45 year old, 100,000 ton ship for action. 

When thinking of an aircraft carrier’s crew its air wing personnel, deck crew, and “island dwellers” usually come first to mind, but keeping a small floating fortress city humming along takes an army of workers who have far less glamorous jobs which largely go unrecognized. The Nimitz’s Executive Officer, Commander J.W. David Kurtz, a Naval Flight Officer with a background in electronic warfare and the EA-6Bs and E/A-18Gs, along with the carrier’s media department, are doing something creative about this by creating their own version of Mike Rowe’s cult classic  reality television show Dirty Jobs.

USS Nimitz traverses the Arabian Sea on October 1st. The ship is now located in the 7th Fleet area of operations., USS Nimitz Facebook page

So far there have been seven episodes of the homemade—or should I say ship-made—show—the better part of a season in today’s truncated television production runs—and they keep getting better with every episode.  Not only is it fun to see one of the carrier’s head honchos getting down and dirty deep below decks with the lower ranks, but it also gives us a great view inside the workings of a modern supercarrier. 

The XO has done everything from climbing the carrier’s island to clean communications arrays, to grinding welds on the ship’s steam catapult piping, to servicing a weapons elevator with some nasty chemicals. 

So on this Veterans Day, give a little appreciation to the little guys that work so damn hard making America’s most powerful war machines tick by checking out some episodes of Nimitz Dirty Jobs:

A big thanks to our good friend and contributor Joe “Smokin” Ruzicka for the heads up on the videos.

Contact the author:


Tyler Rogoway


Tyler's passion is the study of military technology, strategy, and foreign policy and he has fostered a dominant voice on those topics in the defense media space. He was the creator of the hugely popular defense site Foxtrot Alpha before developing The War Zone.