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CDR Rich Downey

Navy Career

I'm a Permanent Military Professor in the Physics Department at the Naval Academy.  Before arriving here, I served in the following capacities.

  • Student, Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, CA (PhD in applied physics)
  • Maintenance Officer, Patrol/Reconnaissance Wing TWO Kaneohe, HI (supervised aviation maintenance for four P-3C squadrons)
  • Pilot and Department Head, Special Projects Patrol Squadron TWO Kaneohe, HI
  • Aircraft Launch & Recovery Equipment Officer ("Shooter"), USS KITTY HAWK CV-63 Yokosuka, Japan
  • NROTC instructor, NROTCU University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (taught Intro to Naval Science and Sea Power & Maritime Affairs)
  • Pilot and Division Officer, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO Rota, Spain
  • Replacement Pilot, Patrol Squadron THIRTY, Jacksonville, FL
  • Student Naval Aviator: Pensacola, FL, Corpus Christi, TX, Meridian, MS

My commissioning source was NROTC.


  • 2013 Ph.D. Applied Physics, Naval Postgraduate School
  • 2003 M.S. Physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • 1994 B.S. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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