Commander James Cordonnier

Executive Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35

27 October 2020 A native of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Commander James Cordonnier attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture. Upon completion of flight training in April of 2005, he was designated a Naval Aviator.

In March of 2006, Commander Cordonnier began his naval aviation service with the Warlords of HSL-51 located at NAF Atsugi in Japan. During this deployment, he completed ten underway periods in 7th Fleet in the following billets: Detachment ELEVEN’s Administration Officer on USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC-19) for COMSEVENTHFLT; Detachment FIVE’s Administration Officer on USS GARY (FFG-51); Detachment FOUR’s Training Officer on USS COWPENS (CG-63); Detachment SIX’s Training and Assistant Operations Officer on USS LASSEN (DDG-82); Detachment THREE’s Assistant Operations Officer on USS KITTYHAWK (CV-63), and; Detachment ONE’s Maintenance Officer on USS MUSTIN (DDG-89). During his tenure at HSL-51, Commander Cordonnier also served as the squadron’s Quality Assurance Officer and was selected as the HSL-51 Pilot of the Year in 2009.

Commander Cordonnier reported to HSM Weapons School Pacific at NAS North Island in San Diego, California, in October of 2009. He earned designation as an SH-60B and MH-60R Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI). While at HSMWSP, he served as the Surface Engagement SME, Low Slow Flyer Intercept SME, the HSM Wing Pacific’s Night Systems Instructor (NSI) Program Manager, Aircrew Division Officer, Standardization Officer, and Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program (HARP) OIC. His duties as an instructor during sixteen HARPs ensured the deployment readiness of eight HSM squadrons. In both 2011 and 2012, Commander Cordonnier was selected as the HSMWSP Instructor Pilot of the Year. 

Commander Cordonnier reported to HSM-75 as the Training Officer and WTI at NAS North Island in November of 2012. During this tour, he completed workups and a deployment with CVW-11 embarked in USS NIMITZ (CVN-68). During the course of the deployment, HSM-75 conducted operations in 3rd, 7th, 5th, and 6th Fleets. Commander Cordonnier’s experience and expertise were brought to bear specifically in ASW and MCSOF operations in 7th Fleet while planning and leading CSG strait transits in 5th Fleet. While aboard NIMITZ, Commander Cordonnier earned qualification as Command Duty Officer underway. In 2014, he was selected as the HSM-75 Pilot of the Year.

In January of 2015, Commander Cordonnier reported to HSL-49 at NAS North Island for his Department Head tour. During the squadron’s transition from HSL to HSM, he served as the Training Officer and coordinated with USAF, USCG, and USMC units to maximize joint training opportunities for the squadron’s aircrew to gain proficiency with employing the expanded capabilities of the MH-60R. As Officer In Charge of Detachment TWO, Commander Cordonnier completed a Western Pacific deployment embarked in USS SPRUANCE (DDG-111). During the deployment, Detachment TWO supported Pacific Surface Action Group (PACSAG) operations throughout the AOR, including joint operations with the USAF and USMC. Upon returning from deployment, Commander Cordonnier served as both the squadron’s Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer. He was recognized with consecutive, peer-selected CNAF Leadership Awards for HSM Wing Pacific in 2015 and 2016. He was also named the HSM-49 Officer of the Year in 2016.

In 2017, Commander Cordonnier reported to Special Operations Command Africa in Stuttgart, Germany, and served as the Maritime Planner and Lead for Rotary Wing Foreign Internal Defense in Africa. His last year, he served as the J5’s Chief of Plans, Strategy, and Posture. 

In 2018, Commander Cordonnier graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a M. Ed. in Earth Sciences.

Commander Cordonnier’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.
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