Captain Christopher L. Harkins
Commander, Submarine Squadron 20
Captain Harkins, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Auburn University.
His eight overseas deployments spanned operations in most of the world’s navigable waters. Submarine assignments included USS HONOLULU (SSN-718), USS JEFFERSON CITY (SSN-759), USS SCRANTON (SSN-756), and as Commanding Officer of USS MONTPELIER (SSN-765) and USS HARTFORD (SSN-768). These ships earned six Battle Efficiency “E’s” and eight unit commendations.
Under Captain Harkins’ command, MONTPELIER conducted groundbreaking operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism, to include the launching of time-sensitive tactical cruise missiles, and the use of an unmanned aerial surveillance system. The ship was assigned to the Fleet Forces Command Retention Honor Roll a record ten consecutive quarters, saw 100% officer retention, was ranked the #1 of 43 Los Angeles Class submarines in retention and reenlistment, and was awarded the Submarine Squadron Six Battle “E”.
Ashore, Captain Harkins has served as a Deputy Crew Commander at United States Space Command, as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Nuclear Propulsion Examining Board, as the Force Nuclear Power Officer on the staff of Commander, Naval Submarine Forces Atlantic, as Deputy Commander, Submarine Squadron Eight, and most recently as Chief, Operations & Plans Division, Director J7, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Captain Harkins is entitled to wear the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), and various other personal, unit and campaign awards. He is also a recipient of the L.Y. SPEAR and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Awards.
Captain Harkins and his bride of 19 years, Leona, have three children: Brittany, Dylan, and Bailey.