CAPTAIN WYATT N. CHIDESTER
CHIEF OF STAFF
U.S. NAVAL FORCES SOUTHERN COMMAND
U.S. FOURTH FLEET
Captain Chidester is a native of Iowa and entered the Navy in July 1979, promoted to Chief Operations Specialist in 1987, commissioned as a Limited Duty Officer in 1991, and converted to Unrestricted Line in 1996.
From December of 1979 to December 1990, Captain Chidester served in Naval Air Station Fallon, NV; USS LEFTWICH (DD 984); USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), Tactical Training Group Pacific, and on the staff of Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group, Three. Following his LDO commission, he served two consecutive CIC Officer tours onboard USS GRIDLEY (CG 21) and USS CHANCELLORSVILLE (CG 62), completing two Middle East Force deployments in support of OPERATION SOUTHERN WATCH. He also served as the Assistant Surface Operations and Theater Missile Defense Officer on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, in London, England. Captain Chidester then served two consecutive Operations Officer tours onboard USS CARNEY (DDG 64) and USS GETTYSBURG (CG 64) completing two deployments in support of USS JOHN F. KENNEDY and USS ENTERPRISE Battle Group operations in the US SIXTH Fleet Area of Responsibility. He then moved on to United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Director of Operations. His next assignment was Executive Officer onboard USS THE SULLIVANS (DDG 68), completing one deployment to the US FIFTH Fleet Area of Responsibility, supporting Commander, Joint Task Force 150 operations and the Global War on Terror.
From December 2005 to January 2008, he served as the Assistant Surface Warfare Captain Detailer (PERS 41A), Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee before moving on to command the Arleigh Burke Guided Missile Destroyer, USS FORREST SHERMAN (DDG 98). Following his command tour, Captain Chidester served as Director, Maritime Warfighting and Department Head Training (N73) and Director, Command-at-Sea Training (N75), Surface Warfare Officer's School, Newport, Rhode Island. Captain Chidester served as Commanding Officer, USS HUE CITY (CG 66) from February 2014 – March 2016 before reporting as Chief of Staff, US Naval Forces Southern Command and US FOURTH Fleet.
His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (5 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (8 awards), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards), Good Conduct Medal (3 awards), the coveted Battle “E” (5 awards), and various other campaign and unit awards.