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Commander Tommy McDonald
Executive Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51
Commander McDonald is a native of Breezy Point, Queens, New York. He graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2005 where he received his commission and a bachelor’s degree in Marine Systems Engineering. He was designated a Naval Aviator in May 2007.
In 2008, he began his first sea-duty assignment was with the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR TWO (HSL-42). There he deployed aboard USS ROOSEVELT (DDG-80) in support of Counter-Piracy Operations off Eastern Africa, and USS DOYLE (FFG-39) conducting Counter-Illicit Trafficking Operations off South & Central America.
Subsequent sea-duty assignments include Catapult and Arresting Gear officer and V-2/V-4 Division Officer embarked on USS TRUMAN (CVN-75), which encompassed Carrier Air Wing THREE’s 2013-2014 deployment in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM.
In 2017, CDR McDonald returned to the fleet as a Department Head, assigned to the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN ZERO (HSM-70). He served as Detachment OIC embarked on USS TRUXTUN (DDG-103) and USS HUE CITY (CG-66) in support of the USS BUSH Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing EIGHT 2017 deployment. He later served as squadron Maintenance Officer and was selected as the 2019 Squadron Officer of the Year.
CDR McDonald’s shore and staff assignments include Flag Aide to President, National Defense University from 2011-2013, and Operational Test Coordinator at COMOPTEVFOR from 2015-2016. Most recently, he served as both Action Officer and Executive Assistant to Director, Joint Force Development (Joint Staff J-7) from 2019-2021.
CDR McDonald completed Joint Military Education (JPME) Phase I through the Naval War College and holds a master’s degree in Engineering Management from Pennsylvania State University. His awards include Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Air Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal, and other personal and unit commendations.
Last Updated: 18 July 2022