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Commander William Gifford
Executive Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115
A native of Carmel, California, Commander Gifford graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2008, earning a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. CDR Gifford reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for flight training in July 2008, earning his Naval Pilot Wings in October 2010. In December 2010, CDR Gifford reported to the VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” for initial fleet training as an F/A-18C Hornet Pilot.
CDR Gifford began his operational flying career in March 2012 with the “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192. While a “Dragon”, he made one combat deployment aboard the USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74), participating in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. CDR Gifford attended TOPGUN in January of 2015 and reported to Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific (SFWSP) in April 2015 as a weapons school instructor. He was selected as the SFWSP instructor of the year in 2017.
CDR Gifford returned to the fleet as Training Officer of the “Talons” of VFA-115 in Iwakuni, Japan in October, 2017. After completing two patrols as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces Japan (FDNFJ) aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), CDR Gifford left the “Talons” and reported to the “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 in Virginia Beach, VA as a Department Head in February of 2019. While with the “Bulls” he helped complete initial Sea Trials for the USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78), serving as both Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer.
Following his department head tour, CDR Gifford attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. CDR Gifford graduated in June, 2023 and received a Master of the Arts in Security Studies with a focus on Homeland Security and Defense. He selected for squadron command in 2022 and reported to VFA-115 as Executive Officer in November 2023.
CDR Gifford has accumulated over 1,900 flight hours in 5 aircraft. His awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various service awards and ribbons.
Last Updated: 4 December 2023