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Leadership

Cmdr. James Van Nest

Executive Officer, Assault Craft Unit Two (ACU 2)

06 April 2023

Studio Portrait
230406-N-KK394-1111
Studio Portrait
Photo By: MC2 Anderson Branch
VIRIN: 230406-N-KK394-1111

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Commander Van Nest graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2004 with a degree in History.   

His division officer tours include CIC Officer on the USS TAYLOR (FFG 50) and Operations and Executive Officer for PC CREW MIKE.  During these tours he deployed to 5th and 6th Fleet supporting Operations ACITVE ENDEAVOR and IRAQI FREEDOM, and participated in multiple NATO exercises. For his department head tours, he served as the Operations Officer aboard USS COLE (DDG 67), deploying to 6th Fleet for Ballistic Missile Defense of Europe and Israel, and as the Operations Officer at Destroyer Squadron TWO SIX, where he planned and executed three consecutive Joint Warrior exercises in concert with the Royal Navy Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS).  For his most recent sea tour, he served as the Executive Officer aboard USS SAN JACINTO (CG 56) deploying with Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group to 5th Fleet in 2020, setting numerous records for continuous time at sea. 

Before heading to his first shore duty, Commander Van Nest, served as a United Nations Military Observer in Liberia for six months in 2009. He then served as a Branch Chief at NATO Communications and Information Support Squadron in Northwood, UK from 2009-2011.  Following his Department Head tours he was selected as an Olmsted Scholar (Class of 2016) during which time he studied in Budapest, Hungary.  Most recently, Commander Van Nest served as the Future Operations Director for the Theater Undersea Warfare Commander for US Naval Force North (CTF 84). 

Commander Van Nest’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various other unit awards, service medals, and ribbons. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in History from the United States Naval Academy and a Master of Arts in International Relations (Security Studies) from Corvinus University Budapest.


 
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