Capt. Michael P. Desmond

Commanding Officer, USS Vella Gulf (CG 72)

23 November 2020
Studio portrait of Capt. Mike Desmond.
Capt. Mike Desmond
Studio portrait of Capt. Mike Desmond.
Capt. Mike Desmond
Studio portrait of Capt. Mike Desmond.
Photo By: MC2 Jacob Milham
VIRIN: 210325-N-OW182-0002
  Capt. Mike Desmond, a native of Schoharie County, New York, enlisted in the Navy in 1994. He was an Electronics Technician specializing in shipboard meteorological systems. His initial sea tour was in USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), during which he attained the rate of ET2 (SW) before being selected to attend Officer Candidate School.

Capt. Desmond’s first Division Officer tour was as Gunnery Officer in USS Monterey (CG 61). Subsequent operational assignments include duty in USS George Washington (CVN 73) as Electrical Division Officer and in USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) as Weapons Officer and Combat Systems Officer. Because of manning shortfalls, he filled the two billets in Bulkeley simultaneously for over eight months. During his tenure, Bulkeley earned a Battle “E”, the Unit Tactics Award, and the Arizona Memorial Trophy.

Ashore, Capt. Desmond was an instructor at the surface warfare Damage Control Assistant School, where he qualified as a Master Training Specialist. He later performed duties in the OPNAV N511 Advanced Concepts Branch from 2008 until 2011. While at OPNAV, he completed a voluntary 13-month Individual Augmentation tour as a Multi-National Forces-Iraq J33 Liaison Officer in the Ministry of Defense Joint Headquarters. Capt. Desmond was then assigned to the J53 Southern Africa Regional Engagement Branch at the U.S. Africa Command based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Capt. Desmond was also Executive Officer and Commanding Officer (CO) of the Littoral Combat Ship Crew 103 “Rough Riders” from 2014 to 2017, sailing aboard USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) in 7th Fleet during the ship’s maiden deployment and delivering USS Detroit (LCS 7) to the fleet as commissioning CO. He was next billeted as Carrier Strike Group TEN’s N3A, fleeting-up to N3 during a three year tour that featured a 5th Fleet deployment and record-setting 207 continuous days at sea. Capt. Desmond reported as CO of USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) in July 2020.

Capt. Desmond holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Plattsburgh State University and a master’s degree in Diplomacy and Military Science (cum laude) from Norwich University. He is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and other individual, unit, and campaign decorations.
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