Rear Admiral Christopher Cole USN-Ret

Rear Admiral Cole, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., graduated in 1971 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and was commissioned through the NROTC Program. He reported to Navy flight training in July, 1971 and was designated a Naval Aviator in October, 1972.
At sea, he served as a pilot and division officer with Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 15 aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68); Personnel Exchange Program pilot with Canadian Forces Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 423, serving as Detachment Commander aboard HMCS Athabaskan (DDH 282); operations officer of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 5 aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69); and executive officer and commanding officer of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 4 “Helicopters from Hell” aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), deploying in support of Operation Earnest Will (Arabian Gulf). He next served as Navigator aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and deployed to the Persian Gulf for Operation Desert Storm (Iraq). Selected for ship command, he commanded USS El Paso (LKA 117) and deployed to the Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea for Operation Restore Hope (Somalia). He then reported to USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) as executive officer and subsequently as commanding officer, deploying to the Mediterranean for NATO Operation Deny Flight (Bosnia).
His shore tours include flight instructor pilot duty with Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 1; studies and graduation from the Naval War College; staff duties with the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare); command of Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 1; and as a fellow with the Secretary of Defense Strategic Studies Group.
Flag assignments include service as Commander U.S. Naval Forces Korea and Naval Component Commander, United Nations Command in Seoul, Republic of Korea; Commander Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; and Director of Ashore Readiness on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N-46).
His personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards); and Navy Commendation Medal.
Since retirement from the Navy, Rear Admiral Cole worked in the private sector as a consultant to the defense industry. He has also served with several non-profit organizations and is currently the President of the Navy Safe Harbor Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.