|CAPT Cathal S. O'Conner
Captain Cathal S. O’Connor is a 1988 graduate from the University of Virginia. He graduated from the Naval War College and received an M.A. in International Relations from Salve Regina University in 1996.
Operational tours include Chief of Staff for Commander Task Force SEVEN SIX, command of Rushmore (LSD 47), Plans & Exercise Officer & Tomahawk Strike Missile Officer for Commander Task Force SEVEN ZERO, Executive Officer in Tortuga (LSD 46), Operations Officer for Amphibious Squadron FIVE, Surface Operations Officer in Essex (LHD 2), Operations Intelligence Officer in Kitty Hawk (CV-63), Combat Information Center Officer in Pharris (FF 1094), Electronic Warfare Officer in Truett (FF 1095), and Electrical Officer in Farragut (DDG 37).
Ashore, he served as Surface Warfare Division Lead and Navy Liaison Officer to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during the 2010 Navy Quadrennial Defense Review, as Project Officer on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Deep Blue, as Maritime Analyst and Global Strike Assessment Lead on the Joint Staff (J-8), as Deputy Executive Assistant to the Director of Expeditionary Warfare (N-75), as Special Assistant (Speech Writer) to the Chief of Naval Operations, as Senior Air Defense Officer and Tomahawk Strike Missile Officer for Commander, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia, as Division Officer, Department Head, and Major Command Course Instructor at Surface Warfare Officer School Command, and as Special Projects Officer at Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center.
During his tour as Commanding Officer, Rushmore earned the Battle Efficiency Award, the SECNAV and CNO Safety Award, the SECNAV Energy Conservation Award (Blue), the Gold Anchor Retention Award, the Ship’s Store Excellence and Best in Class Award, the Surface Warfare Officer and Enlisted Excellence Awards and the Unit Tactics Award (2006 & 2007). Individually, Rushmore Sailors received the CAPT Joy Bright Hancock Leadership Award (2006 & 2007), Latina Style Military Service Award, Association of Old Crows PSYOPS Excellence Award, Naval Surface Forces Ship Handler of the Year Award, and Military Fire Officer of the Year Award (Runner Up).
His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3), Navy Commendation Medal (8), the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Surface Navy Association Literary Award (2003, 2011) and various campaign and unit decorations.