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A native of Dayton, Ohio, Commander Philip “Lurch” Pretzinger graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and completed JPME I at the Naval War College at NPS (NWC at NPS). He earned his Wings of Gold in January 2008.
At sea, CDR Pretzinger began his operational flying in October 2008 with the “Eightballers” of HSC-8, deploying twice onboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) with Carrier Air Wing NINE (CVW-9) to the FIFTH and SEVENTH Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR). He participated in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Operation NEW DAWN, Operation PODIUM and in support of various operations and exercises in the Western Pacific. In 2015, CDR Pretzinger reported to USS BATAAN (LHD-5) and served as Mini Boss, deploying to the FOURTH and FIFTH Fleet AORs. In 2017, CDR Pretzinger reported to the “Island Knights” of HSC-25 for his department head tour. He deployed as Officer in Charge (OIC) of Detachment SIX on USS WASP (LHD-1) in support of Commander, Task Force SEVEN SIX (CTF-76), operations in the South China Sea and East China Sea, and completed his tour at HSC-25 as Operations Officer. In June 2022, CDR Pretzinger reported to HSC-21 as Executive Officer. In June 2023, CDR Pretzinger became the Commanding Officer of HSC-21.
His shore tours include service at HSC-3 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) instructor pilot, where he served as lead evaluator for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Search and Rescue Model Manager (SARMM) and was recognized as the squadron’s 2014 Pilot of the Year. In 2019, CDR Pretzinger was selected for and completed a Secretary of the Navy Tours with Industry (SNTWI) Fellowship at LinkedIn in San Francisco, California. In 2020, he reported to NPS and completed a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Strategic Studies), earning an outstanding thesis designation for his study of the Navy helicopter community. During this tour, he also completed JPME I at NPS at NWC, graduating with distinction.
CDR Pretzinger has over 2,500 flight hours in fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. His personal awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit and campaign awards. He is married to the former Rebecca Tolles of Dayton, Ohio. Together, they have three children; Charlie (14), Lucy (11), and Henry (10).
Last Updated: 9 June 2023