|Captain David Hughes
Originally from Choctaw, Oklahoma, Captain Hughes graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1987 with a Bachelors of Science in Ocean Engineering. He has since accumulated over 11 years of shipboard service including command of two ships – USS SIROCCO (PC 6) and USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62).
He first went to se a in USS FRANCIS HAMMOND (FF 1067) where he served as Antisubmarine Warfare Officer, Main Propulsion Assistant and Chief Engineer. During this assignment FRANCIS HAMMOND deployed with the MIDWAY Battle Group as part of the U.S.-led coalition conducting Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM. He served as Combat Systems Officer, then Chief Engineer in USS INGERSOLL (DD 990). In 1996, he assumed command of USS SIROCCO (PC 6) leading SIROCCO during operations in support of U.S. Special Operations Command in the EUCOM and SOUTHCOM areas of responsibility. Remaining at sea, he served as Executive Officer in USS HOPPER (DDG 70) which set then-records for seizures of illicit cargoes while enforcing U.N. sanctions against Iraq. In 2005 he assumed command of USS FITZGERALD (DDG 62), one of four AEGIS BMD capable destroyers operating from Yokosuka, Japan. Under his command, FITZGERALD earned the 2007 ASW Bloodhound, Battle Effectiveness and Marjorie Sterrett Battleship Fund Awards and established the Long Range Surveillance & Tracking segment of the national ballistic missile defense system (BMDS) during the 2006 North Korean missile contingency. Most recently he served as Executive Officer, in USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70).
Ashore, he served as Rating Assignment Officer for the surface technical ratings at the Bureau of Naval Personnel; as Placement Officer for the Pacific Fleet Cruiser/Destroyer Force and later as Head, SWO Community Management and Analysis at Navy Personnel Command. He served on the staff of the CNO Executive Panel (N00K), on the Joint Staff, Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization and, most recently as Chief of Staff for Commander, Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific.
Captain Hughes holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the Catholic University of America. He has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), several unit awards, campaign and service decorations.