A native of Filer, Idaho, Captain Mills is a 1990 University of Arizona graduate with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and political science. He earned a Master's of Science in electrical engineering in 1996 and a 2005 Information Systems & Operations graduate certificate from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also is a 2008 graduate of the Naval War College Naval Command and Staff program. A plank owner of the Information Professional Community, he is a fully qualified Surface Warfare Officer, Joint Qualified Officer, and Information Warfare Officer.
Fleet assignments include Guided Missiles Officer and Strike Warfare Officer aboard USS LONG BEACH (CGN 9); U.S. Pacific Fleet Battle Group Systems Integration Testing (BGSIT) Program Director; Flag Communications Officer, Commander, Carrier Strike Group TEN and Expeditionary Strike Force FIVE, embarked on USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN 75); Joint Task Force KATRINA Joint Force Maritime Component Commander (JFMCC) Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications (J6); and Combat Systems Officer onboard USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76). Mills also served as the Assistant Chief of Staff for Command, Control, Computers, Communications & Intelligence (C4I) and Command Information Officer (CIO) at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. FIFTH Fleet / Combined Maritime Forces. He served with distinction supporting DESERT STORM, NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and various counter-narcotics and humanitarian relief operations including JTF FIERY VIGIL, JTF KATRINA, and JTF HAITI.
Shore assignments include Command and Control (C2) Systems Officer, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Flag Aide and Deputy Executive Assistant to Director, Space, Information Warfare, and C2 (N6), Chief of Naval Operations; Director, Network Architecture & Engineering Division (N6), Special Assistant for Strategic Planning and Knowledge Management (00K), and as Head, Innovation & Experimentation Branch, Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM); and as a branch chief in U.S. Joint Forces Command Joint Capability Developer Directorate (J8). Mills also served as CNO’s first Cyber Federal Executive Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University supporting Navy’s Cyber and Information Warfare research and education initiatives. He then served as the Senior Information Professional Detailer at Navy Personnel Command. Most recently, he served as Commander, Task Force 1070 and Commanding Officer, Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii where he commanded over 2,600 personnel across the Asia Pacific from the U.S. west coast to the Middle East. Noted accomplishments include development and deployment of Information Technology for the 21st Century (IT21), leading the largest systems interoperability tests afloat, leading restoration of Navy Command & Control following the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, establishment of NETWARCOM, spearheading development of FORCEnet and the Trident Warrior experimentation series, and advancing Cyber Mission Force operations in the Pacific theater.
His personal awards include two Legion of Merit, two Defense Meritorious Service, six Meritorious Service, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. He was awarded the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion Commendation Medal, the 2003 SPAWAR Lightning Award for development of the Fleet Readiness Certification process, the 2004 Copernicus Award for excellence in the field of C4ISR, the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Award for innovation in Joint operations, and the 2009 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award. In 2016, Captain Mills was appointed an Honorary Chief Petty Officer by MCPON.
Updated: 1 August 2016