Capt. Thomas F. Foster
Commanding Officer, USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)
11 May 2021
Capt. Foster is a native of New Castle, Delaware. He earned his commission and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April 1997 and has flown the MH-60R and SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopters throughout his career.
Capt. Foster’s sea assignments include an initial operational tour as a pilot with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44 where he deployed aboard USS John L Hall (FFG 32) and USS John Hancock (DD 981). While at HSL-44 he was named the HSL Wing Atlantic Pilot of the Year and received the Commanding Officer’s Helmsman award. His second sea assignment was with the Carrier Strike Group Six (CCSG 6) staff embarked aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). His department head tour was with HSL-46 where he served as detachment officer in charge (OIC) and squadron maintenance officer. As detachment OIC, he deployed aboard USS Anzio (CG 68). Capt. Foster served as the Executive Officer and then Commanding Officer of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75. The squadron deployed as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 in support of USS Nimitz (CVN 68) Carrier Strike Group. During his tenure, the Wolf Pack earned the 2014 Secretary of Defense Maintenance award, 2013 Battle “E” award, 2013 Captain Isbell Trophy, two consecutive Golden Wrench awards, and three consecutive Retention Excellence awards. Individually, Capt. Foster was awarded the 2013 Naval Helicopter Association Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership award and the 2014 Navy and Marine Association Leadership award.
His shore assignments include: U.S. Naval Academy Company Officer where he was awarded the Frank M. Adams Junior Officer Leadership award; Executive Officer to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Support, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Power Europe (SHAPE); Executive Officer of HSM-41; and Branch Chief for OPNAV N312 Plans and Global Force Management.
He assumed his current assignment as the Commanding Officer of USS KEARSARGE in July 2021 after serving as the ship’s Executive Officer.
His education includes a Master of Science degree in Leadership and Human Resource Development from the Naval Postgraduate School where he was awarded the Rear Adm. Thomas R. McClellan Award for Academic Excellence. He also received a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and completed the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI program. His personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit commendations and service/campaign awards.