A native of San Diego, CA, Commander (CDR) Daniel graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 and holds a MBA concentrating in Strategic Leadership from Trident University, as well as a Master’s of Military Studies from Marine Corps Command and Staff College. CDR Daniel received his commission from Reserve Officer’s Training Corps in March, 2002 and was later designated a Naval Aviator in September, 2003.
Upon completion of MH-60S Fleet Replacement Pilot Training in February of 2004, CDR Daniel reported to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron EIGHT (HC-8), Naval Station Norfolk, VA, for his initial sea tour. Between 2004 and 2007, CDR Daniel served in a multitude of assignments including Assistant Officer-in-Charge and completed detachments to both the 5th and 6th Fleet AORs.
Subsequent sea duty assignments include two tours with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO TWO (HSC-22). As a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) at HSC-22, CDR Daniel served as the Tactics Officer, Training Officer, and the Officer-in-Charge of the squadron’s first proof of concept detachment in support of Seal Team 10 high altitude training in Playas, New Mexico. As a Department Head at HSC-22, CDR Daniel deployed aboard USS BATAAN in support of embassy evacuation operations in Libya and Yemen, as well as tasking against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. His detachment is credited with the rescue of 284 lives that encompassed the largest U.S. rescue effort in the Mediterranean of recent history.
Ashore, CDR Daniel served as both a MH-60S FRS Instructor Pilot at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO (HSC-2) and as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor for Helicopter Sea Combat Weapons School Atlantic. CDR Daniel’s accomplishments include Master Training Specialist, Armed Helicopter transition cadre, Sikorsky Rescue Award (2), and he was named the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) Instructor Pilot of the Year (2010) for Region Four and the NHA Aircrew of the Year-Deployed, Region Four (2015). Currently, CDR Daniel is assigned as SOUTHCOM’s Military Liaison to USAID where he serves as the Senior Military Advisor to Regional Bureaus’ Assistant Administrators—facilitating joint planning and coordination.
CDR Daniel assumed command of CSL Comalapa, El Salvador on 6 April 2018.
CDR Daniel’s military awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), and various unit, campaign, and service awards. He has flown over two thousand four hundred hours in fixed and rotary wing aircraft.
CDR Daniel is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Corrine Duff of Lynchburg, VA. They have three children, Reagan, Payton, and Addison.