Commander Joseph C. Girard, USN
Commander Girard, a native of California, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. In December 1995, he received a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and then reported to NAS Pensacola to begin his flight training. After earning his "Wings of Gold" in August 1997, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX at NAS Cecil Field for initial training in the F/A-18C Hornet.
In October 1998, Commander Girard checked into the "Valions" of Strike Fighter Squadron FIFTEEN where his duties included Avionics and Armaments Division Officer, Public Affairs Officer, Schedules Officer, and Weapons Training Officer. During his tour with the Valions, Commander Girard made two combat deployments; first in 1999 embarked in USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71) in support of Operation ALLIED FORCE in Kosovo, and again in 2001 aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.
In February 2002, he returned to the "Gladiators" of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX, this time for duty as an instructor pilot. Following his tour with the Gladiators, Commander Girard reported to Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5) where he served as a Landing Signal Officer from December 2004 to October 2006.
In November 2006, he joined the "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO FIVE for his Department Head Tour where he deployed aboard USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN-75) to the North Arabian Gulf in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. During his tour with the Gunslingers, he served as Administrative Officer, Safety Officer, Operations Officer, and Maintenance Officer. In 2008, he was named the Commander, Naval Air Forces Atlantic Fleet Pilot of the Year.
In May 2009, Commander Girard reported to Headquarters, U.S. European Command in Germany where he served as executive assistant to the U.S European Command Director of Policy, Strategy, Partnering, and Capabilities (ECJ5/8). In March 2011, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX for Fleet Replacement Pilot Training in the F/A-18E prior to reporting to the "Knighthawks" of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE THREE SIX.