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COL Hugh Atkinson

United States Marine Corps

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.