Commander Stefan Walch
Commander Walch assumed duties as Executive Officer aboard USS GONZALEZ (DDG 66) in February, 2014. Born in Bremerhaven, Germany and raised in Kennewick, Washington, he enlisted in 1987 and served as a Sonar Technician aboard USS ENGLAND (CG-22) while participating in deployed operations including DESERT SHIELD. He was accepted into the Enlisted Commissioning Program during a subsequent assignment to Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center Pacific and received his commission as a Surface Warfare Officer in 1997.
Sea assignments include tours on USS RENTZ (FFG 46) as First Lieutenant, USS DECATUR (DDG 73) as Combat Information Center Officer, USS LEYTE GULF (CG 55) as Weapons/Combat Systems Officer, and Flag Secretary to Commander, CARRIER STRIKE GROUP 12. His most recent deployment was to the 5th Fleet Area of Operations in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM during ENTERPRISE Carrier Strike Group's final deployment in 2012.
Ashore, he served as an Action Officer in the Strategic Mobility and Combat Logistics Force Division (N42) for the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) in Arlington, Virginia and Surface Warfare Officer at Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for the Current Operations directorate (N31). CDR Walch holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and a Master of Science in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy Commendation Medals, four Navy Achievement Medals, and various campaign and unit awards.