USS IWO JIMA

Captain Dana R. Gordon
Commanding Officer

Biography Image

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, CAPT Dana R. Gordon graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1989, was commissioned through the school’s NROTC program and later designated a Naval Aviator in October 1991.

In 1992, he completed flight training in the SH-60B Seahawk and has since accumulated over 3,500 total flight hours, with over 3,250 coming in the SH-60B, making numerous deployments onboard CRUDES ships while serving multiple tours with HSL-40, HSL-42 and HSL-44.

From 2006 through 2009, he was Executive Officer and then assumed the title of WARRIOR ONE as the 20th Commanding Officer of the HSL-42 Proud Warriors. Under his leadership, the Proud Warriors won three consecutive Battle Efficiency Awards, the 2008 HSMWINGLANT Sikorsky Maintenance Golden Wrench Award, and the Secretary of the Navy’s Aviation Safety Award as one of the Navy’s safest operational fleet Squadrons. During his Command tour, CAPT Gordon was also peer-selected by his fellow Commanding Officers as the 2008 Naval Air Forces and Navy and Marine Association’s Senior Leadership award winners for COMHSMWINGLANT.

Other assignments have included tours at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, TN, with Commander Naval Air Forces in San Diego, CA, and on the Joint Staff, J-8, in the Pentagon. He has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Embry-Riddle University, completed his JPME Phase I and II from the Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery, AL and the Joint and Combined Warfighting School in Norfolk, VA and has also completed in residence coursework at the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, MA.

In 2012, CAPT Gordon completed a tour as an Aide to Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Ray Mabus, in July 2013 began his duties as Executive Officer and in December 2014, became the 10th Commanding Officer of USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7). During his tour onboard CAPT Gordon has led IWO JIMA through the completion of two extended CNO Maintenance Avails, an INSURV inspection, a dual ARG at Sea BOLD ALLIGATOR Exercise, a Homeport shift from Norfolk, VA to Mayport, FL and full pre deployment workups.

He most recently led the IWO JIMA BLUE/GREEN Team of 2,850 Sailors and Marines through a highly successful 8 month deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility, performing contingency operations in support of the Yemen Embassy Evacuation and other critical operations in the Red Sea. Following this highly successful deployment, IWO JIMA was rewarded for their hard work by winning the Battle “E”, CNO and SECNAV Safety and Admiral Flatley Awards for Shipboard and Aviation Safety for 2015.

CAPT Gordon has received two single action Air Flight Medals and two Sikorsky Aviation Rescue pins for lifesaving heroics in Naval Aviation both deployed and ashore. He has numerous personal awards for leadership and aviation valor, as both an Instructor Pilot and as Officer of the Year from HSMWINGLANT, the Naval Helicopter Association, Naval Air Forces, and the Navy and Marine Association. CAPT Gordon was also previously selected as one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s top 100 Diverse Executive Leaders under 50 years of age. He is, however, proudest of the numerous unit, campaign, and service awards that he shares with his fellow service members throughout his many tours of duty both at sea and ashore.