Naval Oceanographic Office
Captain Paul Oosterling is the Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO). Originally from Ontario, N.Y., he graduated from Florida Institute of Technology in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Oceanography and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School, Newport, R.I., in 1987.
He earned a master’s degree in Meteorology and Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School and later earned a second master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
His first assignment was to USS Los Angeles (SSN 688) as the Communications and Electronic Materials Officer. During this tour he qualified as a Submarine Officer and completed deployments to the western, eastern and northern Pacific oceans.
Capt. Oosterling transferred into the oceanography community and was assigned to the Naval Eastern Oceanography Center as a Forecaster, Command Duty Officer and Ship Routing Officer. From 1991 to 1993 he served as the Executive Officer of Oceanographic Unit Five, embarked in USNS Harkness (TAGS-32) conducting hydrographic surveys in the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman and North Arabian Sea for 14 months.
In 1996, he was assigned as the Flag Aide/Executive Assistant to the Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. In 2001 he completed a tour as the OA Division Officer/Oceanographer in USS George Washington (CVN 73), where he deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf.
He spent two tours in Washington, D.C., first as the Branch Head for Manpower and Training on the staff of the Oceanographer of the Navy (CNO N096) and then as the Deputy, Branch Head for Integrated Undersea Surveillance Systems for the Director, Submarine Warfare (CNO N77).
In 2005, Capt. Oosterling reported to Commander, Third Fleet as the staff oceanographer and member of the Anti-Submarine Warfare, Mine Warfare, and Homeland Defense syndicates.
In July 2007, he reported as the Executive Officer of the Naval Oceanography Operations Command, and in October 2007, he was named the first Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center stationed at Stennis Space Center, Miss.
In October 2009, he returned to the Naval Oceanography Operations Command as Director, Oceanographic Operations for Undersea Warfare. Capt. Oosterling then served as Chief of Staff, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in August 2010. He assumed the position as Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office in July 2011.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with four gold stars, Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, Navy Achievement Medal with two gold stars and various unit and service awards.