CDR Count, a native of N. Augusta, SC, enlisted in the Navy in 1986 as a Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive). He attended Arabic language training at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) winning the Maxwell D. Taylor Award. In 1988 he was assigned to Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA) Athens, Greece deploying to U.S. Sixth Fleet combatants and to Operation DESERT SHIELD. In 1990 he reported to NSGA Fort Meade, MD where he deployed to Commander Middle East Force and Operation DESERT STORM.
Awarded a Naval ROTC scholarship, CDR Count attended the University of South Carolina graduating Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa earning a Bachelor’s Degree and a commission in 1995.
After returning to DLI to study the Russian language, in July 1996 CDR Count reported to NSGA Misawa, Japan and served as a Division Officer and Special Evaluator on board EP-3E aircraft of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One (VQ-1) earning designation as Naval Aviation Observer and accumulating over 1,700 flight hours. During this tour he deployed throughout Asia, the Middle East and to Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
In June 1999 CDR Count attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA earning a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) and was awarded the IEEE Monterey Chapter Outstanding Student Thesis Award. In 2001, he was assigned to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet where he served as Signals Intelligence Collection Manager during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.
In February 2003, CDR Count reported to NSGA Fort Gordon, Georgia where he served as Operations Officer and as the first Fleet Information Operations Center (FIOC) Department Head (N3). In November 2004, CDR Count was assigned as Executive Officer and oversaw the Command’s transition to Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia and its growth to nearly 1,000 Sailors and Major Command status.
In November 2006, CDR Count reported to the staff of the Commander, Carrier Strike Group EIGHT where he simultaneously served as Cryptologic Resource Coordinator (CRC) and Deputy Information Warfare Commander (DIWC). He deployed twice onboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) and USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73) to the U.S. Central, European, Southern and Pacific Command areas of responsibility supporting Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM and Partnership of the Americas 2008.
In December 2008, CDR Count reported to the U.S. European Command staff in Stuttgart, Germany where he served as Chief, Information and Cyberspace Operations Plans Branch (J39) responsible for integrating IO and Cyberspace operational concepts into theater-wide strategy, plans and operations. In August 2012, Commander Count assumed his present duties as Commanding Officer, NIOC Pensacola, FL. CDR Count is proficient in multiple languages and graduated the Naval War College Command and Staff Program with highest distinction. Awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (3), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and numerous campaign and service medals.
His personal interests include playing guitar and coaching baseball.