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Captain David M. Gardner

Captain David “Checklist” Gardner is a native of New England, North Dakota and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. He also has a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from The Eisenhower School and a Master of Business Administration with Finance from Bellevue University.  He was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) in 2003 upon completion of flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida and the 562nd Flying Training Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.    

He began his operational flying in 2003 with the “Ironmen” of VQ-3 at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. In 2005, he was selected as the Strategic Communications Wing One NFO of the Year.  He then served as the Flag Aide to Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command in  Norfolk, Virginia. In 2008, he reported to USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN 74) in Bremerton, Washington as a Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer and was underway for the 2009 Western Pacific deployment. Gardner then reported in 2010 to United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska for a joint tour where he served as the Communications Officer for the Airborne Command Post.  He then reported to the “Shadows” of VQ-4 at Tinker Air Force Base as a department head in 2012 where he completed his tour as the Operations Officer.  He was then assigned to Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California in 2015, where he was the E-6B Readiness Officer for the Commander, Naval Air Forces, Pacific Fleet.  In 2017, he reported back to Tinker AFB to assume the duties of Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of the “Shadows” of VQ-4.     

 He most recently reported to the Pentagon in 2020 and served on the OPNAV N2N6 staff as a Requirements Officer for Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3), the E-6B weapons systems, and the new E-XX aircraft.    

 CAPT Gardner has amassed more than 2,500 flight-hours in the T-34C, T-43A, and E-6B aircraft.  His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (five  awards), and various other unit and personal awards.

Last Updated: 2 February 2024

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