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Commander Chris Schnappinger

A native of Mystic, Connecticut, Commander Schnappinger graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation and commissioning, CDR Schnappinger reported to NAS Pensacola, FL for flight training in June of 2007. He earned his Naval Aviator “Wings of Gold” in October of 2008. In November 2008, CDR Schnappinger reported to the HSM 40 “Airwolves” for initial fleet training in the SH-60B. CDR Schnappinger began his operational flying in June 2009 with the “Wolfpack” of HSL 45. During the early stages of his time at HSL-45, he was selected for an Individual Augmentee to serve as the officer in charge of Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System detachments, directly supporting special warfare operations in Afghanistan from January 2010-February 2011. Upon returning from deployment, HSL-45 had transitioned to the MH-60R and subsequently became HSM-75. While a member of the “Wolfpack” he made two deployments, one aboard USS PRINCETON (CG 59) and another on USS NIMITZ (CVN-68), participating in operations in the INDOPACOM AOR and CENTCOM AOR supporting regional presence operations and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Additionally, he flew in support of RIMPAC 2012 while embarked on the USS PRINCETON. CDR Schnappinger reported to his flight instructor tour with the “Seahawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 (HSM-41) in September of 2013, where he served as the Division Officer Leadership Course Program Manager while being fully qualified to instruct all syllabus events. CDR Schnappinger then reported in January 2016 to Commander, Destroyer Squadron 23 (DESRON-23) in San Diego to serve as the Air Operations Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. During his tenure at DESRON-23 he supported USS MERCY’s Pacific Partnership 2016 mission and executed the Optimized Fleet Response Plan with the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group. CDR Schnappinger returned to the MH-60R as a Department Head with HSM 78, the “Bluehawks”. While at HSM-78, he served as a Combat Element (CEL) Officer in Charge embarked on USS LAKE CHAMPLAIN (CG 57) during the squadrons 2018 WESTPAC and RIMPAC 2018. After completion of his time as OIC, he served as Maintenance Officer for the squadron during the post deployment sustainment phase and into the maintenance phase, coordinating and executing maintenance inspections, Planned Maintenance Interval’s (PMI), and aircraft upgrades/modifications. Following his department head tour, CDR Schnappinger reported to the US Naval War College in January of 2020, where he earned masters’ degrees in National Defense and Strategic Studies and participated in the Halsey advanced research program focusing on war gaming.

After departing the War College in 2021, CDR Schnappinger reported to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Arlington, VA to work in the J-35 Regional Operations Directorate. While there he served as a readiness analyst for on-going operations, future operations and campaigns, and war plan execution. CDR Schnappinger has accumulated more than 2,500 flight hours in naval aircraft. His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), and various service awards and ribbons. He is married to the former Sara Jones of Bangor, ME, and they have one daughter, Mia (1) and another daughter on the way

Last Updated: 15 February 2024

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