Captain Robert Sanders
Chief of Staff
Carrier Strike Group ONE
Capt. Robert "Bob" Sanders grew up in Boonton, N.J. and graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1986. He received his Navy commission through Officer Candidate School in September 1987 and was designated a naval flight officer in January 1989.
He reported to VF-101 in April 1989 for initial training in the F-14 "Tomcat" at NAS Oceana, Va. Upon completion, he transferred to the VF-143 "Pukin Dogs" where his tour included two deployments on board USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during Operation Desert Shield.
In January 1993, Sanders reported to VF-101 as an instructor in the F-14. In October 1995, he returned to VF-143 as the training officer and assistant operations officer and deployed on board USS George Washington (CVN 73) flying combat missions in support of Operation Deliberate Guard. During his tour with VF-143, he was the recipient of the 1996 VADM William P. Lawrence Leadership Award.
Sanders reported to the VF-31 "Tomcatters" as a department head in May 1998 and served as maintenance and operations officer. His tour included a deployment on board USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) flying combat missions in support of Operation Southern Watch. Sanders was then selected to be an instructor at the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), Fallon, Nev., where he served as a readiness officer and the TOPGUN assistant department head.
In September 2004, Sanders transitioned to the F/A-18F "Super Hornet" and reported to the VFA-154 "Black Knights" in Lemoore, Calif., as the executive officer and subsequently assumed command in January 2006. During his command tour, he made deployments on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) flying combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Sanders is a graduate of the National War College where he received a Master's Degree in National Security Strategy. Following graduation, he reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he served in J-5, Strategic Plans and Policy as the nuclear policy branch chief.
Sanders assumed command of NAS Jacksonville in Jan., 2012 and reported as Chief of Staff of Carrier Strike Group 1 in August 2013.
His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (three strike/flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), as well as numerous unit, campaign and service awards.