|Captain Craig C. Sicola
Captain Craig C. Sicola was raised near Dallas, Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994. He was designated a Naval Aviator in 1997.
Following completion of flight training, he was assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 8 in Norfolk, Va., as a CH-46 pilot. He completed two deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch in the Arabian Gulf.
Captain Sicola then reported to Navy Personnel Command in 1999 as an aviation detailer and financial program manager. Following this tour, he completed an aircraft transition and reported to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 14 in 2003, flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. For two consecutive tours, he was assigned to the ‘Tophatters,’ and deployed in 2003 and 2005 with USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In 2007, Captain Sicola reported to a joint U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) assignment. He completed a ground deployment in Iraq with SOCOM in 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Captain Sicola assumed command of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 in December 2011. He deployed twice with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), flying the F/A-18C Hornet in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Following his command tour, he reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) in the Pentagon as the F-35 Requirements Officer. While at OPNAV, he was responsible for the current programmatic, budgeting, and future capability development of the F-35 fighter aircraft. In September 2016, Captain Sicola completed the Naval Nuclear Power training program and reported as the executive officer of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in February 2017. In December 2019, Captain Sicola took command of USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
Captain Sicola has accumulated more than 3,200 hours in numerous Navy aircraft. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards); Air Medal (5 total awards: 1 individual, 4 Strike/Flight); Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2 awards); Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 awards); and the Navy Combat Action Ribbon.