Executive Officer (November 2009 - November 2011)
Commander Cha is native of Gunsan, Republic of Korea (South Korea). After graduating from Walker High School in Jasper, Alabama, he enlisted in the Navy as the Aviation Storekeeper in January 1988. During his initial shore tour, he attended Southern Illinois University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Management in June 1994. He received his commission through the Officer Candidate School in 1995.
Commander Cha’s first assignment was as Auxiliaries Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant aboard USS O’Brien (DD975) in Yokosuka, Japan. Aboard O’Brien, he earned qualifications as the Engineering Officer of the Watch, Officer of the Deck, and Surface Warfare Officer. In his second division officer assignment, he served as OI Division Officer and Electronic Warfare Officer aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) where he qualified as the Tactical Action Officer.
In June 2000, he commenced studies at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California where he earned a Master of Science Degree in Operations Research and JPME Phase I. After completing Surface Warfare Officer School Department Head Course in Newport, Rhode Island, he reported aboard USS John Paul Jones (DDG-53) as Engineer Officer and subsequently became Engineer Officer aboard USS Higgins (DDG-76) executing COMNAVSURFPAC’s DDG SEASWAP Initiative. His second tour department head tour was as a Gas Turbine Assessor in Engineering Assessment Division at Afloat Training Group, Pacific in San Diego, California.
His post-department head tour has been serving as the Surface Operations Officer/Fleet Scheduler, Carrier Strike Group and Surface Warfare planner in the 5th Fleet/Commander, Naval Forces Central staff. His next tour was a joint assignment as the CJ-5 Naval Planner, Contingency Plans Branch for U.S. Forces Korea/Combined Forces Command in Seoul, Korea. He was primarily responsible for assisting development of theater-level combined/bilateral OPLANs and CONPLANs.
Commander Cha’s personal decorations include: one Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various campaign medals and sea service ribbons.