Captain Thomas J. Chassee is a graduate of Michigan State University. He began military service as an enlisted man in the United States Army serving with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) from 1976-1979. He was commissioned in October 1983 through Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island. His first duty assignment (1984-1987) was as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer in USS BADGER (FF 1071).
In September 1987 he reported aboard USS SARATOGA (CV 60) as Main Engines Officer, completing his tour in 1989. Upon transfer from SARATOGA Captain Chassee attended the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) graduating in 1990, and earning a Masters of Arts Degree in National Security Affairs (Western Hemisphere).
Captain Chassee’s Department head tours included First Lieutenant aboard USS LAMOURE COUNTY (LST 1194), and Surface Operations Officer in USS GUAM (LPH 9). In January 1995 he was assigned as an OPNAV Fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), Alexandria, Virginia and completed the Air War College Command and Staff (non-resident) course of instruction.
Captain Chassee reported aboard USS PONCE (LPD 15) as Executive Officer in September 1996 and served in PONCE until February 1998. In March 1998 he was assigned as Future Operations Officer, Commander Amphibious Group Two.
From 1999-2002 Captain Chassee attended the Marine Corps War College (MCWAR) earning a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies. Captain Chassee went on to command USS PONCE from 2000-2002, and following his command tour in PONCE was interim Commanding Officer of USS TORTUGA (LSD 46) for a three month period. In 2001 PONCE earned the LANTFLT medium sized Amphibious Warship Battle Efficiency Award.
Following command at sea he was assigned as a Senior Engineering Assessor at Afloat Training Group Atlantic. From 2004-2006 he served as Executive Officer in USS WASP (LHD 1). Captain Chassee’s was assigned to Commander Strike Forces Training Atlantic (CSFTL) as the Deputy Operations Officer for Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG), certifying ESG’s from December 2006 to June 2008.
Subsequent to his tour at CSFTL he completed JPME II at the Joint Forces Staff College. In addition to his Master’s degrees from NPS and MCWAR, in 2008 Captain Chassee was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Systems Management (Information Systems) from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Captain Chassee reported aboard USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) as the Executive Officer in 2009. On July 31, 2010 Captain Chassee assumed Command of USS IWO JIMA serving as Commanding Officer until February 2012. While in command IWO JIMA earned the LANTFLT 2011 Large Deck Amphibious Warship Battle Efficiency Award.
Personal decorations include the Legion Of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (three gold stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two gold stars), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (one gold star).