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BIOGRAPHIES

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Admiral Michael M. Gilday
Chief of Naval Operations


Admiral Mike Gilday is the son of a Navy Sailor. A Surface Warfare Officer, he is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds master’s degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the National War College.

At sea, he deployed with USS Chandler (DDG 996), USS Princeton (CG 59), and USS Gettysburg (CG 64). He commanded destroyers USS Higgins (DDG 76) and USS Benfold, (DDG 65) and subsequently, commanded Destroyer Squadron 7, serving as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

As a flag officer, he served as Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8 embarked aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and as Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and U.S. 10th Fleet.

His staff assignments include the Bureau of Naval Personnel; staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, and staff of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations. Joint assignments include executive assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and naval aide to the President.

As a flag officer, he served in joint positions as director of operations for NATO’s Joint Force Command Lisbon; as chief of staff for Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO; director of operations, J3, for U.S. Cyber Command; and as director of operations, J3, for the Joint Staff. He recently served as director, Joint Staff.

He has served on teams that have been recognized with numerous awards and is the recipient of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (four awards), Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Gilday began serving as the 32nd Chief of Naval Operations August 22, 2019.

The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is the senior military officer of the Department of the Navy. The CNO is a four-star admiral and is responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of the operating forces of the Navy and of the Navy shore activities assigned by the Secretary.

A member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CNO is the principal naval adviser to the President and to the Secretary of the Navy on the conduct of war, and is the principal adviser and naval executive to the Secretary on the conduct of activities of the Department of the Navy. Assistants are the Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), the Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations (DCNOs), the Assistant Chiefs of Naval Operations (ACNOs), and a number of other ranking officers. These officers and their staffs are collectively known as the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OpNav).

 
 

RDML Fredrick R. Luchtman
Commander, Naval Safety Command



Rear Admiral Fredrick “Lucky” R. Luchtman is a native of Auburn Hills, Michigan, and a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. In December 1991, he was designated a Naval Aviator in Beeville, Texas.

As a career F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet pilot, he commanded Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) and Strike Fighter Squadron Fifteen (VFA-15). Luchtman also deployed with VFA-82, VFA-136, VFA-131, and CVW-2. He participated in Operations Southern Watch, Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.

Ashore, Luchtman has served as a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor at Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic; C4 Systems Chief at U.S. Strategic Command; Tactical Air Commander Detailer and Executive Assistant to Commander, Navy Personnel Command; and Executive Assistant to Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

He was promoted to flag rank in August 2018 after assuming his role as Physiological Episodes Action Team Lead.

Luchtman is a graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and of the Naval War College, earning a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies.

He has accumulated more than 4,000 hours and 1,000 carrier-arrested landings in Navy jet aircraft.

His personal awards include the Legion of Merit (four awards), Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Combat “V,” Strike/Flight Air Medal (eight awards), and other personal and unit awards.

 

 
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Colonel Hugh L. Atkinson
Deputy Commander, Naval Safety Command


Colonel Hugh L. “Chet” Atkinson commissioned in December 1992 at the University of Memphis. He was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1995, and served as a flight instructor.

Atkinson transferred to Jacksonville, Florida, for initial training in the F/A-18 Hornet and then to VMFA (AW)-224 in Beaufort, South Carolina. He served in a variety of squadron leadership billets and deployed to the Western Pacific.

In the summer of 2000, Atkinson transitioned to the KC-130 and was assigned to VMGR-252. He served in various leadership billets and flew missions around the world to include combat tours in Iraq.

In 2005, Atkinson took command of Recruiting Station Montgomery in Alabama, after which, he attended Air Command and Staff College. Upon completion, he transferred to Okinawa, Japan, and served as the VMGR-152 Executive Officer.

In 2009, Atkinson transferred to Newburgh, New York, and commanded Marine Aircraft Group 49 Detachment B. Afterward, he attended the Air War College and then served on the Joint Staff as a Joint Observer/Trainer and Team Chief in the Deployable Training Division.

In 2015, Atkinson transferred to U.S. Fleet Forces Command as the N35 Branch Chief and the Fleet Marine Officer, then he returned to Okinawa as the G35 at III Marine Expeditionary Force. Following this tour, Atkinson took command of Marine Aircraft Group 41 in Fort Worth, Texas. He currently serves as the Deputy Commander of the Naval Safety Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

Atkinson has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and masters’ degrees in Military Operational Art and Science and Strategic Studies. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with gold star, the Air Medal with Strike/Flight (two awards), and the Navy Commendation Medal.

 
 

Executive Director, Naval Safety Command
Mr. Christopher Tarsa


Mr. Christopher Tarsa currently serves as the Executive Director of the Naval Safety Command. He is a native of Adams, Massachusetts, and a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Engineering.

Tarsa served 24 years in the Submarine Force on several submarines, including Minneapolis-Saint-Paul (SSN 708), USS Providence (SSN-719), USS Albany (SSN 753), USS Tennessee (SSBN 734), and USS Newport News (SSN 750).

His active-duty shore assignments included instructor duty at NNPTU Ballston Spa, New York; junior board member of the Nuclear Propulsion Examination Board Atlantic; Deputy Director for Strategic Weapons, Nuclear Policy and Force Protection; and Transformation Director at the Naval Safety Center - now the Naval Safety Command, in Norfolk, Virginia, where he retired in 2019.

While stationed at the Naval Safety Center, Tarsa led efforts to transform the center into a modern data analytics organization. These efforts included realignment and expansion of the staff prior to its transition to NAVSAFECOM, which fundamentally changed the organization’s approach to data analytics, and hiring contracted support to pursue data-driven models to identify leading indicators of risk.

Over his military career, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and various other medals and ribbons.

 
Command Master Chief Jimmy W. Hailey III
Command Master Chief, Naval Safety Command



Command Master Chief Jimmy W. Hailey is a native of Austin, Texas. He graduated high school in 1993 and enlisted in the Navy in 1994.

He is a designated Master Training Specialist, and is a graduate of the U.S. Navy Senior Enlisted Academy (Class 154/Brown), CMC/COB Course (Class 109), the National Defense University Keystone Course (Class 19-1), and the Naval Postgraduate School Senior Leader Seminar.

Additionally, he earned his Associate Degree in Marine Systems Management from Coastline Community College in May 2007 and a certification in organizational leadership from Fort Hays State University in June 2012.

Following his graduation from recruit training at Recruit Training Command (RTC) Great Lakes, Illinois, and Surface Sonar Technician “A” School, San Diego, California, his first duty station was the Pre-Commissioning crew of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) in San Diego, California. Follow-on tours included: USS Benfold (DDG 65) in San Diego, and USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Ashore, he served two tours at RTC, Great Lakes, performing the duties as a Recruit Division Commander, Ship’s (Barracks) Leading Chief Petty Officer, Fleet Quality Assurance Leading Chief Petty Officer, and 7th Fleet Leading Chief Petty Officer.

Selected into the Command Master Chief program in February 2012, his CMC tours include Strike Fighter Squadron Eighty-Six (VFA-86) Sidewinders, Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17) Team Quicksand, USS Nimitz (CVN 68), and Naval Service Training Command.

He assumed the duties as Command Master Chief of the Naval Safety Command in September 2020.

His military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal (seven awards), Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Expeditionary Medal, GWOT Service Medal, Accession Training Service Ribbon (three awards), and numerous unit citation awards.