Commander Zoe Bernadette Arantz
CDR Arantz nee Ehrhart is a native of Durand, Michigan. After attending university for three years, she enlisted in the Navy in 1994 as an Interior Communications Electrician. She served aboard the USS HOLLAND (AS-32), USS BLUE RIDGE (LCC 19) and the USS HOPPER (DDG 70). She was awarded a two year NROTC scholarship, completed a B.A. in Communications at San Diego State University, and received her Naval Commission in May 2000.
After initial surface warfare training and giving birth to her first child, she served as Gunnery/Ordnance Officer and Navigator in USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50) from August 2001 to August 2004. During that time she participated in Maritime Interception Operations in the North Arabian Gulf prior to and during the opening days of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM while deployed with the USS CONSTELLATION Strike Group. As Navigator, she deployed to the Southeastern Pacific and conducted South American Counter Drug Operations in support of the ship’s sunset voyage prior to decommissioning in August 2004. She was assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and received an M.A. in National Security Affairs with an emphasis on Middle Eastern studies. She continued her studies at the Defense Language Institute and received her linguist certification in Persian Dari.
After the birth of her second child she served as the Operations Officer in USS DONALD COOK (DDG 75) from July 2008 to December 2009. She deployed in July 2009 in support of NATO’s Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG-2) participating in OPERATION’S OCEAN SHIELD and COPPER DUNE conducting counter-piracy operations and supporting the global war on terrorism while deployed to COMSIXTHFLT and COMFIFTHFLT AOR’s. From there she returned to FIFTHFLT and served as Future Operations Officer and Chief Staff Officer in COMDESRON 50 from March 2010 to March 2011. She completed a tour as a special assistant to the CNO Executive Panel from March 2011 to March 2013 and as a strategic planner on the Joint Staff in the J5 Political Military Affairs, Middle East Directorate, Iran Division from March 2013 to April 2016.
CDR Arantz’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Joint Achievement Medal.