USS WHIDBEY ISLAND


Commander David L. Gray
Commanding Officer

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Commander Gray enlisted in the U.S. Navy in August 1990 as an Engineman (EN). In 1996, he was selected for the Seaman to Admiral Program and was commissioned on June 7, 1996. Following commissioning, he attended Surface Warfare Division Officer School in Newport, RI.

From June 1997 to July 1999, Commander Gray was assigned to USS STOUT (DDG 55) where he served as Communications Officer. During this tour, he deployed to the Mediterranean and the Adriatic in support of Kosovo Peacekeeping Operations. In May 1999, he reported to USS TYPHOON (PC 5), where he served as Weapons Officer. While on TYPHOON, he deployed to the Horn of Africa for various Special Warfare Ops.

In January 2001, Commander Gray attended Old Dominion University where he graduated Cum Laude and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Upon graduation in May 2003, he attended Department Head School in Newport, RI.

Commander Gray reported to USS PONCE (LPD 15) in January 2004, where he was assigned as the First Lieutenant. During his tour, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In August 2005, he transferred to USS NASSAU (LHA 4), where he served as First Lieutenant and deployed once again to the Arabian Gulf.

In April 2007, Commander Gray reported to Surface Warfare Development Group (SWDG) as the Mine Warfare Officer. During his tour, he was selected for an Individual Augmentee assignment on the CENTCOM Staff where he was assigned to the J5’s Coalition Coordination Center. Upon completion of his IA assignment, he returned to SWDG and served as Deputy N7, Surface Warfare Directorate. From August 2006 to May 2009, he attended the Naval War College/College of Distant Education, earning a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies and Joint Professional Military Education (Phase I) credit.

In August 2009, Commander Gray reported to Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic where he was assigned to N31, Maritime Operations, certifying CSGs and ARGs for deployment during their Intermediate Phase. He was selected for XO Afloat in April 2009 and served as Executive Officer on USS ASHLAND (LSD 48) from November 2011 to May 2013. He successfully transferred ASHLAND from an EDPMA through INSURV making ASHLAND ready for HULL SWAP. During his XO tour, he was selected for Commander Command. After his XO tour, he served as the Chief of Staff Officer at ATG Atlantic. Commander Gray took command of USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41) in December 2014.

Commander Gray’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), in addition to other unit and service awards.