William J. Mercantini, Jr. Class of 2004
Jim is a third generation Mercantini, born and raised here in
Town. His grandfather Class of 1941 and his father Class of 1979
have all lived and cared about Bordentown. Jim wanted to serve
in some form or another after 9/11. He has always shown that
he is recognized by the Navy as an exceptional sailor and leader.
Early on, Jim committed himself to earning the rank of Chief.
This is representative of the way he put his family and others
before himself. Jim works for the betterment of his group and
the people around him. He is a team player. Jim Mercantini is
a great addition to the Hall of Fame for BRHS because his
character is equal to the many who have been recognized before
him and have a place of honor with this group of graduates.
Jim graduated in 2004 and earned varsity letters in football,
wrestling and band. He was a 4 year member of both marching
band and concern band. He was popular in school and led a
very active student life. As a young man he was a Cub Scout
and Boy Scout. In the community, he participated in local
recreational leagues, was interested in many activities, was a
thoughtful student who represented his school and class proudly,
and was well thought of among his peers and teachers, Upon
graduation from BRHS, Jim enlisted in the United States Navy.
After completing basic training in Great Lake Il., he was
assigned to the USS Kitty Hawk in Japan where he lived for
four years. There he received good conduct citations as well as
his Third-Class Petty Officer rank. Jim as he is known to his
family and friends, was involved in active sea duty this tour.
In addition, he had shore duties in quality assurance where
as a Machinist Mate his area of responsibility was to provide
fresh water for the ship and propulsion, HVAC, and Hydraulics.
Upon the decommission of the Kitty Hawk, Jim was reassigned
to the USS Enterprise, the “Big E”, and promoted to Second
Class Petty Office. In continuing his regular assignments, he
received ribbons for good conduct, service in foreign theaters
during the time of war. Weapon and warfare pins as well as
early promotion rights. At the completion of this assignment,
he was reassigned to the naval base in Norfolk, Va., where he
was active in the decommission probes of the “Big E” and
worked as a Ship Yard supervisor in quality assurance areas.
Jim was promoted again to First Class Petty Officer after eight
years of service, and reassigned to the USS Forrest Sherman where he took over as a Gang Lead Petty Officer and completed a 12 month deployment overseas where he earned other citations which included ribbons for the deployment itself, along with accents to his ribbons already received. Again, he gained early promotional status and outstanding evaluations for his duty and service to our country. During his assignment to the Forrest Sherman, he demonstrated broad experience and a range of skills which made him standout among his peers. He was known as a dependable and eager worker, and it was noted that he discharged his duties with distinction.
On September 16, 2016, after 12 years of service to his country and
another 5 year reenlistment, Jim was promoted to Chief Petty
Officer of the Navy. This rank is significant to those who understand the Navy promotion protocol. It is special because it requires advanced knowledge as measured by a written test, along with a positive background and honorable record as reported in
outstanding reviews and noted leadership. A board of Chiefs
reviews every candidate to wear Navy Anchors. Jim’s promotion to Chief began with this year’s announcement on August 6, and he
finished his initiation and was frocked, a term of tradition within the
Navy dealing with this rank, on September 16, 2016 aboard his ship
with his family present. Jim has since completed two assignments as newly minted Chief and will be transferring to a new command
coming this spring as Chief Petty A Gang for that ship. The following time will show Jim’s progression through the ranks of his
Jim mentors young Navy Vets, works with Vets who have addiction
issues by providing guidance and programming to help them re-establish themselves to a positive navy life and career for them. He seems able to energize this group of folk to be positive about their potential. He is a member of the combat Navy Motor Cycle club; an organization dedicated to helping Vets as well as active duty personal and other charities that also help Vets in time of need.
Jim is married to his wife Meg, and have two children Eva and Leo.
As for his civilian activities, Jim is very involved in the combat Navy
Vet motor cycle club which does many hours of charity work for localorganizations and Vets, also field work for the Navy helping Vets who struggle with their assignments, acts as a counselor, mentor and advocate to young sailors who are starting out in their career and are far from home.