|RDML Karl O. Thomas
Rear Admiral Karl O. Thomas was born and raised in Northern Virginia. He received his commission through NROTC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1986 after graduating with a degree in Management Systems. He earned a Master of Science degree in Information Technology from Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Following initial training in the E-2C Hawkeye, Thomas served in VAW-114 where he made two deployments on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), as well as two counter-narcotic detachments to Panama. Thomas also served as Navigator on USS New Orleans (LPH 11) and USS Essex (LHD 2). He served his aviation Department Head tour with VAW-117, and once again deployed on Carl Vinson in 1999 participating in Operation Desert Fox.
Thomas was Executive Officer and Commanding Officer for VAW-117 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After graduating from Nuclear Power School, Thomas served as Executive Officer of both USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS George Washington (CVN 73), delivering the first permanently forward deployed nuclear aircraft carrier to Japan. In 2009, he commanded the Sixth Fleet Command Ship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 17), and completed numerous joint exercises in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Baltic Sea. He assumed command of USS Abraham Lincoln from September of 2012 to August 2014 for refueling complex overhaul (RCOH). He reported to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the Commanding Officer in September 2014 where he completed his fourth deployment on Vinson in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Shore duty assignments include VAW-110 as a Fleet Replacement Instructor; Flag Aide for both Commander, Fighter Airborne Early Warning Wing Pacific and the Director of Naval Reactors. He served in OUSD AT&L (Unmanned Warfare) and coordinated the OUSD AT&L Unmanned Air Systems Task Force. He served as the Executive Assistant to the Director, Air Warfare (N98), and most recently served as the Director, 21st Century Sailor Office (N17).
Thomas assumed the duties of Commander, Battle Force 7th Fleet, Task Force 70, Carrier Strike Group FIVE on 18 July 2018.