Commander, Carrier Strike Group EIGHT

Rear Admiral Michael Gilday

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Rear Adm Gilday is the son of a Navy Sailor and a native of Massachusetts.  A Surface Warfare Officer, he is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has served in a diverse range of Navy and Joint assignments at sea and ashore.

Gilday’s sea tours in cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers includes deployments to the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, the Indian Ocean, and the Western and South Pacific.  He commanded the destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) during the initial combat operations of Iraqi Freedom.  Later, he commanded USS Benfold (DDG 65).  Both destroyers earned the Battle Efficiency "E" Award.  Subsequently, he commanded Destroyer Squadron SEVEN, serving as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group.

Prior to command, his sea tours included deployments in USS Gettysburg (CG 64) during Operation Desert Fox; USS Princeton (CG 59) for Desert Shield/Storm when she was damaged by Iraqi mines; and USS Chandler (DDG 996), supporting U.S. flagged tanker convoys during the Iran-Iraq War.

Gilday’s shore assignments include the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, and the staff of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

His joint assignments include the White House where he served as Naval Aide to the President and as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  As a flag officer, he served in joint posts as Director of Operations at NATO’s Joint Force Command in Lisbon, Portugal, and as Chief of Staff for Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.

Gilday holds two master’s degrees.  He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and a distinguished graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C.

He is the recipient of various personal, unit, and campaign awards including the Defense Superior Service Medal (3), Legion of Merit (2), Bronze Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’, and the Combat Action Ribbon.

He assumed command of Carrier Strike Group EIGHT in June 2013.  CSG-8 is comprised of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), Carrier Air Wing SEVEN, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), USS Hue City (CG 66), and the surface combatants of Destroyer Squadron TWENTY EIGHT.