USS Higgins
First to Fight!
Commanding Officer (November 2009 - November 2011)  
CDR Rome Ruiz
Commanding Officer (November 2009 - November 2011)

CDR Rome Ruiz is a native of San Antonio, Texas. He was awarded a four-year NROTC scholarship to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology. He received his commission in December 1992.

His sea tours include duty aboard USS DOYLE (FFG 39) in Mayport, Florida, Pre-commissioning Unit OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG 79) in Norfolk, Virginia, USS JOHN YOUNG (DD 973) in San Diego, California, and Rotational crew MHC CREW GALLANT
in Ingleside, Texas.

While on DOYLE, he served as Combat Information Center Officer and the Damage Control Assistant (DCA). He completed Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean (SNFM) and Arabian Gulf deployments as well as numerous Counter-Drug operations in the Caribbean Sea and South Pacific Ocean. CDR Ruiz served as Engineer Officer onboard Pre-commissioning Unit OSCAR AUSTIN (DDG 79) followed by a second Department Head tour onboard USS JOHN YOUNG (DD 973) as the Engineer Officer. During those tours he participated in OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and NOBLE EAGLE as well as Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf deployments.

In January 2006, CDR Ruiz took command of MHC CREW GALLANT and was embarked onboard USS ROBIN (MHC 54) and USS SHRIKE (MHC 62) in Ingleside, Texas. He deployed to the Arabian Gulf as Commanding Officer of USS CARDINAL (MHC 60) and conducted numerous multi-lateral exercises, survey and mine warfare operations coupled with maritime security operations in support of the Global War On Terrorism.

CDR Ruiz’s tours ashore include selection to the Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, Rhode Island as well as selection as the U.S. representative to the International Naval Staff College. He graduated with distinction and was awarded a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs and Strategic Studies.

Additionally, he completed tours in the Chief of Naval Operations Directorate for Strategy and Policy and International Affairs (N51), Naval Personnel Command (NPC) PERS-41 as a Surface Warfare O-4/O-5 Detailer, and the DDG 51/FFG 7 class Engineering Inspection Team Leader for Regional Support Group (RSG) Southwest.

CDR Ruiz’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (third award); Navy Commendation Medal (fourth award); Navy Achievement Medal (third award) and various unit and service awards.

 NEWS

Sailing Through a Lightning Storm
USS Higgins (DDG 76) participates in a Community Relations Project at the Al Noor
Promotion Ceremony
Sailor performs regular maintenance on the davit quick release hook and releasing mechanism.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates meets with crew members aboard the destroyer USS Higgins
USS Higgins (DDG 76)
USS Higgins (DDG 76) anchors off the coast of the Maldives
United Arab Emirates (UAE) Marines board the flight deck of USS Higgins (DDG 76) during a multi-national training exercise
MIDSHIPMAN TRAINING ONBOARD USS HIGGINS
Live Gunnery Exercise Onboard USS Higgins
Chief Fire Controlman (Surface Warfare) Anthony A. Belbeck, MDAA Missile Defender of the Month for May 2011.
USS Higgins (DDG 76) renders honors to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76)
USS Higgins (DDG 76) off the coast of Haiti refueling aircraft

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