Route, Kip - USN

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Kip was born in Cleveland, Ohio, grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and moved to Denver, Colorado, while in high school.  She and her husband, Ron, were high school sweethearts and maintained their long distance relationship while he attended the U.S. Naval Academy and she attended the University of Colorado.  Kip graduated with a degree in Psychology and the next week she and Ron were married in the Academy chapel the very day he graduated from Annapolis.

As a new bride and an ensign's wife, Kip was part of Admiral Zumwalt's Operation Pegasus which forward-deployed six destroyers from the East Coast to Athens, Greece in 1972.  The Navy loaded families, pets, household goods and cars onto the USS PUGET SOUND and all were transported to the Mediterranean.  It was the beginning of many positive and exciting adventures as a Navy spouse.  Quickly she learned early on how the Navy values good family support.

When people ask her about a favorite duty station, it becomes difficult to choose between Greece, San Diego, Monterey, Newport, New York City or Pearl Harbor! Their son will say that it was definitely living in Hawaii!  James is their pride and joy and only child - their 33-year old son graduated from Georgia Tech and currently works for a government agency in Washington, DC.

Ron retired from the Navy on January 1, 2008, after 36-1/2 years of active duty, last serving as the Navy Inspector General.  Kip was actively engaged through the years with spouse organizations, spouse education, and the families in all of Ron's commands.  She volunteered enthusiastically with many Navy organizations over the years, but spent the majority of her time as a Flag spouse with Naval Services FamilyLine, a non-profit organization that provides Navy spouse education and resource information.  Along with leading that organization for three years, she was concurrently appointed by the Chief of Naval Operations to act as his Ombudsman-at-Large, advising him on matters affecting Sailors and their families. For her years of volunteerism, she received the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award from the Secretary of the Navy in 2007.
 
Since October 2013, Kip lives in Monterey, California, where her husband is the President of the Naval Postgraduate School.  She is once again back in the middle of military life!  In addition to spouse organizations and campus activities, she teaches ESL to the international spouses, and plays the flute with the school's band. 

Kip is proud to be on the Board of Directors for Navy Safe Harbor Foundation, supporting the Navy's lead organization for coordinating the non-medical care of wounded, ill and injured Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and their families. She is also a facilitator at the National Defense University’s CAPSTONE course for spouses of new one-star flag and general officers.