USS Higgins
First to Fight!
Commander David N. Taft
Executive Officer

Commander Taft, a native of Harpswell, Maine, graduated in 1999 from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Commander Taft began his naval career at the Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida where he was commissioned an Ensign in 2000. He completed his Joint Professional Military Education training at the Naval War College while earning his Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University in 2007.

At sea, he served as a deck division officer aboard USS Essex (LHD 2); auxiliaries Officer aboard USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3); navigator aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and as chief engineer aboard USS Benfold (DDG 65). He served as executive officer aboard USS Patriot (MCM 7), MCM Crew Persistent and MCM Crew Constant, ultimately serving as the commanding officer of MCM Crew Constant, stationed on multiple ships in both Bahrain and San Diego.

His initial shore assignment was at Officer Training Command, Newport, Rhode Island, where he served as the lead class officer, navigation and sea power lead instructor, and safety officer.

Commander Taft next served ashore as a fleet scheduler and fuels officer in the Global Force Management directorate, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. In 2014, Commander Taft reported to Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Detachment as Program Manager for the IAMD Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) school, following completion of the nineteen week course and graduating as the Top Tactician in March 2015.

Commander Taft’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and various service and campaign awards.

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