Capt. Hays, a native of Florida, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 with a B.S. in History.
Capt. Hays has assumed Command of Afloat Training Group Norfolk in June of 2020. In her most recent assignment, she served as Future Operations Officer/Maritime Syndicate Lead at Commander, Carrier Strike Group FOUR.
At sea, she served as Damage Control Assistant and Navigator in USS MILIUS (DDG 69), as Engineer Officer in USS CARNEY (DDG 64) and USS ANTIETAM (CG 54) and as Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer in USS DECATUR (DDG 73). She has completed multiple Arabian Gulf and Western Pacific deployments.
Following her initial sea tours, she earned a certificate in Modern Standard Arabic at the Defense Language Institute and a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs (Middle East subspecialty) from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She then completed an Individual Augmentation assignment as Civil Affairs Team Officer-in-Charge with SEAL Team ONE in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Other shore assignments include Scheduler, U.S. THIRD Fleet and Congressional Liaison in the Surface Warfare Directorate of the OPNAV Staff.
Capt. Hays’s awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and various unit and campaign medals.