Commander Michelle L. Nakamura
CDR Nakamura is a nuclear surface warfare officer who was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a BS in English in 1997. She holds a MS in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
CDR Nakamura's first assignment was as Strike Officer in USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) for BALTOPS and a Mediterranean Sea Deployment in support of Operation Noble Anvil. She completed her tour and reported to Naval Nuclear Power School in October 1999. Following six months of classroom training and six months of nuclear prototype training, she reported to USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in November 2000. Her tour onboard NIMITZ included completion of Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) and successful completion of two Operational Reactor Safeguards Examinations (ORSE) as the Reactor Electrical then Reactor Controls Division Officer. She also completed her Engineer's Exam during this tour.
CDR Nakamura completed Department Head School and served as Operations Officer in USS COLE (DDG 67) from August 2005 to December 2006. During that time, COLE completed various exercises and certifications and deployed with IWO JIMA Expeditionary Strike Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. CDR Nakamura served as Reactor Training Assistant in USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) from March 2007 until January 2009. She reported to USS NITZE (DDG 94) as Executive Officer in October 2012 and became the ship's Commanding Officer in May 2014.
Ashore, CDR Nakamura served in Chief of Naval Personnel, Minority Affairs Office, and completed a tour as CVN 69 Maintenance Coordinator on the staff of Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic.
CDR Nakamura's personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (six awards) and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.