|CAPT William A. Hesser Jr.|
Commanding Officer (February 2012 - April 2014)
Captain William A. Hesser, Jr. is a 1987 graduate of Texas A&M University NROTC program, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.
Captain Hesser's initial sea tour was in USS BROOKE (FFG 1) as Gunnery Officer. In 1988, Captain Hesser reported to USS RENTZ (FFG 46), where he served as Electronic Readiness Officer, CIC Officer, and Main Propulsion Assistant. Following this tour, he served as Above Water Warfare Officer on the staff of the NATO Standing Naval Forces, Mediterranean. Captain Hesser then attended the Naval Postgraduate School, where he earned his Master's Degree in Applied Physics.
Returning to sea, Captain Hesser reported to USS COMTE DE GRASSE (DD 974), where he served as Operations Officer from 1995 to 1996. Following this tour, from 1997 to 1999, he served as Operations Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69). In 2000 Captain Hesser reported to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, where he worked on the DD-1000 destroyer program.
Captain Hesser served as Executive Officer in USS MCCLUSKY (FFG 41) from 2001 to 2002 and as Chief Staff Officer to Commander, Destroyer Squadron THIRTY ONE from 2003-2004. Following this tour, he attended the Naval War College, receiving a Masters Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and graduating with Highest Distinction. Upon graduating from the Naval War College, he joined the faculty as a member of the Strategy and Policy department.
In 2005, Captain Hesser assumed command of USS BENFOLD (DDG 65) deploying to the Arabian Gulf as part of the BOXER Expeditionary Strike Group. BENFOLD was selected as the 2006 Destroyer Squadron SEVEN recipient of the Commander, Naval Surface Forces Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency Award.
Following command, Captain Hesser served as an action officer in the Strategic Operations Directorate (J3) on the staff of the Multi-national Force-Iraq in Baghdad, Iraq and Executive Assistant to the Commander, Third FLEET in San Diego, CA.
Captain Hesser's military decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards), Iraq Campaign Medal and various unit and service awards.