CAPT Joseph “Huckleberry” Finn is a native of Massapequa Park, New York and 1987 graduate of Alfred G. Berner High School. He was commissioned through the NROTC program at the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and USCG Third Mate’s License in May 1991.
Upon completion of Basic Naval Flight Officer Training, he reported to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 110 (VAW 110) for training in the E-2C Hawkeye at NAS Miramar, CA. He earned his Naval Flight Officer Wings in April of 1993 and has accumulated over 2,500 hours in all variants of the E-2C.
His initial sea tour, starting in June 1993, was with the VAW 117 Wallbangers at NAS Miramar. He made two deployments with Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW 11) onboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq and Operation RESTORE HOPE in Somalia. Nearing the end of his tour, he was temporarily assigned to the Fifth Allied Tactical Air Force Combined Air Operations Center in Vicenza, Italy to support continuing air operations in the Adriatic and Bosnia-Herzegovina under Operation DECISIVE ENDEAVOUR.
CAPT Finn then reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Aviation Manpower and Training Branch in Washington, DC where he served as Fleet Readiness Squadron Requirements Officer as well as VAW/VRC Training Device Requirements Officer between April 1997 and June 1999.
In July of 1999 he began a sea duty assignment in USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) as Assistant Navigator, which ended in July 2001. During this tour, the ship deployed in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Iraq and Operation DELIBERATE FORGE in the former Yugoslavia.
After refresher training, he once again reported to the VAW 117 Wallbangers at NAS Point Mugu, CA for his Department Head Tour in February 2002. He served as Safety Officer and Maintenance Officer deploying onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) attached to CVW 11 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.
CAPT Finn’s follow on shore tour assignment was to the Bureau of Naval Personnel/Naval Personnel Command in Millington, TN where he performed duties as VAW/VRC Assignments Officer from June 2004 to June 2006. He then attended the Naval War College in Newport, RI graduating in June 2007 with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategy (Focus Area Counterinsurgency and Terrorism) and Full Joint Professional Military Education.
Reporting to the VAW 121 Bluetails as Executive Officer in January 2008 and assuming command in April 2009, CAPT Finn completed an “around the horn” cruise on USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) and two deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as part of the CVW 7, USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) Team.
He then completed a tour as Integrated Air and Missile Defense Division Head at Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic from August 2010 to August 2012. CAPT Finn served most recently as the Director of Learning and Development at Naval Education and Training Command Norfolk, VA from September 2012-March 2014. He will assume duties as the Executive Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk, VA in June 2014.
Decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike Flight), Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal and various unit awards.