Rear Admiral Christopher J. Cavanaugh

Rear Adm. Chris Cavanaugh is a native of Convoy, Ohio and a 1993 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He earned master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in Nuclear Engineering and from the Catholic University of America in Foreign Affairs. He also completed the Naval Postgraduate School Executive Business Course and was a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI fellow.

His operational assignments include serving as a division officer in USS Portsmouth (SSN 707), engineer officer in USS Charlotte (SSN 766), executive officer in USS Asheville (SSN 758), commanding officer of USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), and commander of Submarine Squadron 11. During those tours, he completed six submarine deployments to the Indo-Pacific.

His staff assignments include serving as a strategic planner/action officer in the Strategy and Policy Division for the Chief of Naval Operations; squadron engineer for Commander, Submarine Squadron 3; submarine executive officer/post-executive officer detailer in the Submarine/Nuclear Officer Distribution Division for Commander, Navy Personnel Command; deputy Nuclear Propulsion Program Manager for the Chief of Naval Personnel; and chief of the Program and Budget Branch for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Most recently, he served as director of the Submarine/Nuclear Officer Distribution Division (PERS-42) for Commander, Navy Personnel Command and as Nuclear Propulsion Program Manager (N133) for the Chief of Naval Personnel.

As commanding officer of USS Albuquerque, he led a crew that completed two successful Western Pacific deployments, earned a Navy Unit Commendation, and was awarded the Submarine Squadron 11 Battle Efficiency “E.” As commander of Submarine Squadron 11 in San Diego, he oversaw five fast-attack submarines, a floating dry dock, an undersea rescue unit, and the local radiological emergency response organization. During that tour, he deployed to Argentina as commander of Task Group 46 to lead search and rescue efforts for a missing submarine, ARA San Juan.

Cavanaugh’s decorations include the Legion of Merit (three awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), and campaign, unit, and service awards.

Last Updated: 27 May 2021

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