USS WINSTON S CHURCHILL


Commander Christine R. O’Connell
Commanding Officer

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Commander Christine R. O’Connell of Houston, Texas, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering.

Following surface warfare training, she reported to the auxiliary oiler USS WILLAMETTE (AO 180) where she served as Main Propulsion Division Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant. For her second division officer assignment, CDR O’Connell served on the commissioning crew of the guided missile destroyer USS OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG 79) as the Combat Information Center Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. As a department head, CDR O’Connell served on the destroyer USS PAUL HAMILTON (DDG 60) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer. During that tour, PAUL HAMILTON became the first destroyer in Pearl Harbor to receive the Ballistic Missile Defense upgrade to the Aegis combat systems suite. She deployed to the Western Pacific with Destroyer Squadron ONE for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). CDR O’Connell reported to USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL in May 2012 as the Executive Officer and fleeted up to Commanding Officer in February 2014. While Executive Officer, she completed a nine-month deployment to the FIFTH Fleet area of responsibility with the DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER and JOHN C. STENNIS Carrier Strike Groups.

Ashore, CDR O’Connell served as an Officer Recruiter and the Enlisted Programs Officer for Navy Recruiting District Montgomery, Alabama. Post-department head, she served as the Flag Protocol Officer for the Commander, Pacific Command in Camp Smith, Hawaii, and the Junior Officer Sea/Shore Coordinator (PERS-412B) for Navy Personnel Command.

CDR O’Connell is a graduate of Auburn University Montgomery, where she received a master’s degree in Political Science. She completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I through the Air War College distance learning program.

Awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), three Battle Efficiency awards, and various unit and service awards.