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First Name: William

Last Name: Gortney

Birthplace: LaJolla, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Evans

Date of Birth: 25 September 1955

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1977 - 2016
William Evans Gortney


William Evans Gortney
Admiral, U.S. Navy

William Evans Gortney was born on 25 September 1955 in La Jolla, CA. He graduated from Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science in 1977. He was an officer of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and a member of the varsity soccer team and the rugby club. The son of a retired Navy Captain and a second generation Naval Aviator, Gortney entered the Navy as an aviation officer candidate at Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS, Class 12-77 [The Gamesmen]), NAS Pensacola, FL. He received his commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve in September 1977 and earned his wings of gold and designation as a Naval Aviator following graduation from the Jet Strike Pilot training pipeline in December 1978.

Shore assignments include VT-26, NAS Beeville, TX, 1978-1980; VFA-125, NAS Lemoore, CA, 1984-1988, and Aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare), Washington, DC, 1990-1991. He is a 1996 graduate of the Naval War College, earning a Master of Arts in International Security Affairs.

Command tours include Strike Fighter Squadron 15 (VFA-15), 1994-1995, on board USS Theodore Roosevelt, and VFA-106, the East Coast F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron, NAS Cecil Field, FL, 1996-1997. Fleet assignments include Attack Squadron 82 (VA-82), 1981-1984, on board USS Nimitz; VFA-87, 1988-1990, on board USS Theodore Roosevelt; Executive Officer, VFA-132, 1991-1992, on board USS Forrestal and Executive Officer, VFA-15, 1992-1994, on board USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Flag Assignments

His first flag tour was as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Global Force Management and Joint Operations, Fleet Forces Command, Norfolk, VA, 2004-2006. This was followed by assignment as Commander, Carrier Strike Group TEN, during which time he was promoted to Rear Admiral (upper half). Selected for promotion to Vice Admiral, he was then assigned as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet / Combined Maritime Forces. This was Gortney's third command tour in the U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) area of operations, supporting Maritime Security Operations and combat operations for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). His previous command assignments in the USCENTCOM area of operations include Command of Carrier Air Wing 7 while he was still a Captain, embarked aboard USS John F. Kennedy, in direct support of OEF in 2002. His second was as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Ten, on board USS Harry S. Truman, in support of Maritime Security Operations and OIF from 2007-2008.

His experience in the CENTCOM area of operations includes serving on the Joint Staff, J-33 Joint Operations Department CENTCOM Division (JODCENT) from 1998-1999, and tours supporting the violent peace of Operation Southern Watch from 2000-2001 as Deputy for Current Operations, Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA), and deploying as Deputy Commander, Carrier Air Wing 7, on board USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He also served as Chief, Naval and Amphibious Liaison Element (NALE) to the Combined Forces Air Component Commander, U.S. Central Command, for the opening months of OIF, followed as Chief of Staff for Commander U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet from 2003-2004.

From 1 July 2010 to August 2012, Gortney served as Director of the Joint Staff. On 14 September 2012, Gortney was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and assumed his assignment as the 32nd Commander, U.S. Fleet Services Command. He assumed his post as CDRUSNORTHCOM and commander of NORAD on 5 December 2014, and was succeeded by USAF General Lori Robinson on 13 May 2016 upon his retirement.

Admiral Gortney flew over 5,360 mishap-free flight hours and made 1,265 carrier-arrested landings, primarily in the A-7E Corsair II and the F/A-18 Hornet.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Defense Distinguished Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit with 3 Gold Stars
Bronze Star Medal (Merit)
Defense Meritorious Service Medal with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Gold Stars
Air Medal Bronze Numeral 2 Strike/Flight)
Joint Service Commendation Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal
Joint Meritorious Unit Award with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
Navy Unit Commendation
Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 1 Bronze Star
Navy Expeditionary Medal
National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Bronze Star
Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
Armed Forces Service Medal
Humanitarian Service Medal
Sea Service Ribbon (Eight Awards)
Overseas Service Ribbon with Silver and 2 Bronze Stars
Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with Bronze Star
NATO Medal for Former Yugoslavia
Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
Naval Aviator Badge
Command-at-Sea Insignia
Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge

Honoree ID: 528   Created by: MHOH




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