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Commander Thomas R. Butts

Commander Thomas Butts is a native of Erlanger, KY.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1995 as a Radioman and was later selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program.  He graduated from the University of North Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications.  CDR Butts was designated a Naval Aviator in December 2004 and reported to the HSC-3 “Merlins” for initial training as a MH-60S Pilot.

CDR Butts has completed operational flying tours with the “Island Knights” of HSC-25 and the “Sea Knights” of HSC-22.  He has made multiple deployments throughout the 4th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Unified Response, Continuing Promise, Theater Security Cooperation and numerous exercises.      

His non-operational flying tour assignment was on the USS SAN ANTONIO (LPD-17), where he served as the Air Boss.  During this tour he also served as the ship’s INSURV Coordinator for the first in LPD-17 class underway material inspection.  He earned his Fleet Officer of the Deck (OOD) and Command Duty Officer (CDO) underway qualifications. 

His shore tours include two flight instructor tours with the “Fleet Angels” of HSC-2.  While a “Fleet Angel” CDR Butts graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School’s Executive MBA program.  Prior to his current assignment, he served as a Desk Officer on the Joint Staff in the J-7 Directorate.  He worked in the Joint Exercise Division directly supporting United States Transportation Command (USTC) and the Chairman’s Exercise Program Division.  He completed JPME Phase I through the Air Command and Staff College and in residence JPME Phase II at the Joint Forces Staff College.      

He returned to the HSC-25 “Island Knights” in November 2019 and assumed command in February 2021.

CDR Butts has accumulated over 2,400 flight hours in the MH-60S Knighthawk and other training aircraft. He was awarded the 2015 Navy and Marine Corps Leadership Award.  His other awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (8 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5 awards) and various personal, unit and campaign awards.

Last Updated: 22 March 2022

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