Captain Jim Cunha, USN
Captain Cunha is a native of Rumford, RI. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Development and Education in May 1979. He also holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Education from Troy State University and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Captain Cunha entered active duty service in September 1984 at Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) in Pensacola, FL. He was commissioned February 1985 and was the AOCS Regimental Officer from May to November 1985.
Captain Cunha graduated from the Surface Warfare Officers School's Division Officer Basic Course in April 1986. He reported to the USS EL PASO (LKA 117) in May 1986 and served as Auxiliary Engineering Officer and Administration Department Head. He attained his Surface Warfare Qualification in April 1987.
In January 1989, Captain Cunha returned to Surface Warfare Officers School as the Shipboard Management Division Head and later assumed responsibilities as the school's Academic Director. In September 1989 he was designated as a Master Training Specialist.
From March 1991 to March 1993, Captain Cunha served as the Enlisted Programs Officer for Navy Recruiting District Richmond (Virginia).
In April 1993, Captain Cunha reported as the Officer in Charge, Security Detachment and Harbor Patrol Unit, Administrative Support Unit, Southwest Asia in Manama, Bahrain. During his tour, he coordinated security operations for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command for Operations Southern Watch, United Shield, and Vigilant Warrior to include duty in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, and Somalia. In addition, he commanded the "Prize Crew" for the seizure of the M/V Katerina P, the first vessel seized for violation of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
In August 1995, Captain Cunha reported aboard Naval Station Pascagoula, Pascagoula, MS, as Executive Officer. He also served as the Naval Station's coordinator for the Smart Base Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration and as a charter member of the Board of Directors, USO Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Captain Cunha graduated from Command and Staff College at the Naval War College in November 1998. Additionally, in July 1997 he was selected as the United States student to the Naval Staff College (international course) and graduated with distinction in December 1998.
In March 1999, Captain Cunha reported to Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland as the Director, Manpower & Personnel (J1) for Commander, Iceland Defense Force and NATO Commander, Island Command Iceland. In June 2001, Commander Cunha reported as the Executive Officer, Naval Station Newport.
Captain Cunha reported to Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in August 2002 as the Executive Officer. He assumed the duties as Commanding Officer from 3 October 2003 to 15 April 2005.
In May 2005, Captain Cunha reported as the Operations Officer (N3) at Navy Region Southwest. His responsibilities included anti-terrorism / force protection, current operations, exercises, law enforcement, emergency management, fire and emergency medical services for naval installations and facilities in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah.
Captain Cunha reported to the Chief of Naval Operations staff in August 2007 as the Antiterrorism / Force Protection Branch Head. He is responsible for the Navy's Antiterrorism Program to include strategic guidance, oversight, assessments and operations.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Army Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.