CAPTAIN JOHN C. NYGAARD
UNITED STATES NAVY
COS, U.S. NAVAL FORCES SOUTHERN COMMAND
COS, U.S. FOURTH FLEET
Captain Nygaard is originally from Miami, Florida. He graduated from Auburn University in 1984 and received his commission through the NROTC Scholarship program.
His division officer tours were aboard USS MOUNT BAKER (AE-34) and USS DEYO (DD-989). He then attended the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and graduated with a Masters of Science degree specializing in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Following graduation, he served a tour as Combat Systems Officer in USS ANTRIM (FFG-20) and then as the Operations Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron TWO FOUR in USS SARATOGA (CV-60). His next job was as the Fleet Tomahawk Officer for the Commander, Pacific Fleet and then served on the “CINC’s Issues” group for Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA).
Captain Nygaard was Executive Officer in USS SPRUANCE (DD-963), then proceeded to Yokosuka, Japan and served as the Fleet Warfare (Surface) Officer on the Seventh Fleet Staff implementing Theater ASW Commander concept and Counter Special Operations Force (CSOF) missions. He next assumed command of USS PAUL F FOSTER (DD-964) and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and a high visibility diplomatic mission to China, the first such since the EP-3 incident. Following his first command tour he was temporarily assigned to Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) in Fallon, Nevada as the Deputy Airwing Training Officer working TLAM, CSAR and FAC(A) issues. His next tour of duty was at Cruiser Destroyer Group TWELVE as the Operations Officer (N3) deploying in USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65). On deployment he proved the concept of call for fire for Tomahawk in support of ground forces that continues to be developed today. Captain Nygaard then proceeded to the Pentagon and reported to the Joint Staff J3 as the Strategic Operations Division Chief leading issues from Global BMD, Nuclear Command & Control, Continuity of Government and Global Strike. Additionally, he served as a Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) in the National Military Command Center (NMCC). He then assumed command of USS VICKSBURG (CG-69) and deployed as the Air Defense Commander for the DWIGHT D EISENHOWER Strike Group. This deployment included duties as the Maritime Regional Air Defense Commander for the CENTCOM theater which included opportunities to change and refine doctrine in theater. He reported to Tactical Training Group, Atlantic in January 2010 as Executive Officer and assumed command in May 2011 where he introduced advanced training and mentorship for perspective commanding officers. Captain Nygaard is currently the Chief of Staff for Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. FOURTH Fleet.
Captain Nygaard’s personal decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3), Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy Commendation Medal(3), and Navy Achievement Medal.