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Commander John Gaines
Commanding Officer

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CDR John Gaines is a native of Florida.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and was commissioned at the United States Naval Academy in May 2000.  He holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Advanced Finance from the University of Maryland, and a Masters in National Security Studies from the US Naval War College.

He first served aboard USS CHOSIN (CG 65), homeported in Pearl Harbor, HI, as the First Lieutenant and later as the Main Propulsion Assistant, and completed two deployments to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.  His department head assignments were as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer in USS VICKSBURG (CG 69), homeported in Mayport, FL.  He deployed twice in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and NEW DAWN.  He assumed duties as USS ARLEIGH BURKE’s Executive Officer in January 2018, and completed his tour in June 2019. 
His shore tours include the Aegis Training & Readiness Center in Dahlgren, VA, where he served as an Aegis Instructor in the Officer Training Department; the US Naval War College, where he focused on the Aegis Weapon System and Integrated Air & Missile Defense (IAMD) practices; on the staff of Commander, Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain as the IAMD Officer; and PERS-41 (Surface Warfare Officer Distribution Branch), where he served as the LANTFLT CRUDES Placement Officer and later as the PERS-41 Assistant Director.  Prior to joining USS ARLEIGH BURKE, he completed a Joint tour in Colorado Springs while serving as the Branch Chief for USCENTCOM Exercises at the Missile Defense Agency’s Integrated Operations Center.
His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal, along with various campaign and unit decorations.