Commander James J. Donchez

Executive Officer, Patrol Squadron (VP) 9

03 November 2020
A native of Palm Coast, Florida, Commander Donchez graduated from the University of North Florida in 2004, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Financial Planning.  He was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and earned his “Wings of Gold” in August 2006.

After completing P-3C FRS training at Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30) in Jacksonville, FL, CDR Donchez reported to the “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron FORTY-SEVEN (VP-47) in Kaneohe Bay, HI where he served as the Wardroom Bull, AW Division Officer, Schedules Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and Pilot NATOPS Officer.  He qualified Patrol Plane Commander, Mission Commander, Functional Check Flight Pilot, and Instructor Pilot, deploying to FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. 

In August 2010, CDR Donchez reported to the “Pro’s Nest” of VP-30 and joined the P-8A Fleet Integration Team (FIT).  He transitioned to the P-8A Poseidon and qualified as a P-8A FRS Instructor Pilot.  He served as the OFT Acceptance Lead and was the first P-8A FRS IUT Standardization Officer.  While onboard VP-30, he also obtained a type rating in the Boeing 737-800NG. 

CDR Donchez’s next assignment was onboard the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) in San Diego, CA serving as the Assistant Navigator (ANAV) where he qualified as Officer of the Deck (Underway) and deployed to FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleets supporting Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. 

In June 2016, CDR Donchez reported to the “War Eagles” of Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16) for his Department Head tour, serving as the Tactics Officer, Safety/NATOPS Officer, CTG-OPS, Training Officer, and Maintenance Officer, deploying to SIXTH and SEVENTH Fleets.   

Following his Department Head tour, CDR Donchez served as the VP Placement Officer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel (PERS-43) in Millington, TN.  While at NPC, he directly supported aviation officer policy, selection, distribution, and assignment functions for the MPRF fleet.  He was selected for squadron command in March 2019 and is scheduled to report to Patrol Squadron NINE (VP-9) as the Executive Officer in the Spring of 2021.

CDR Donchez has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours in the P-3C and P-8A, including 73 combat missions. His personal awards include the Strike/Flight Air Medal (3 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, and various service and unit awards.

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