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Notable Graduates

Chief of Naval Operations


Mike Gilday

  • Class of 1985
  • 32nd Chief of Naval Operations
  • Began serving on 22 August 2019
Admiral Mike Gilday graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985 as a surface warfare officer. He is the son of a Navy Sailor and a native of Lowell, Massachusetts. He holds master’s degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the National War College.



At sea, Gilday 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, Gilday 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.

Gilday’s 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, Gilday 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.

Gilday 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.

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