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Leadership

Capt. Chris Purcell

Commanding Officer, USS Wasp (LHD) 1

09 January 2024

Official studio photo of Capt. Chris Purcell, Commanding Officer, USS Wasp (LHD) 1
Official studio photo of Capt. Chris Purcell, Commanding Officer, USS Wasp (LHD) 1
Official studio photo of Capt. Chris Purcell, Commanding Officer, USS Wasp (LHD) 1
Photo By: U.S. Navy photo
VIRIN: 230919-N-AA123-1001

A Saint Louis native, Captain Chris Purcell graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 2000 with a Bachelor’s of Science in General Engineering. In 2011 he earned a Master’s in Business Administration, graduating with honors from Webster University.

After designation as a Naval Flight Officer in 2002, he reported to Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (VP-16). While assigned to the “War Eagles,” he served as the NATOPS Division Officer and qualified as Mission Commander and Instructor Naval Flight Officer. His other operational assignments include tours onboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) as the assistant navigator and an aviation department head tour as the operations officer with the “Fighting Tigers” of Patrol Squadron EIGHT (VP-8).

From 2018-2019, Captain Purcell commanded the “Skinny Dragons” of Patrol Squadron FOUR (VP-4). During his command tour, the squadron was awarded the 2018 Pacific Fleet Arleigh Burke Trophy, the 2018 Battle Efficiency Award, and the 2018 Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Award for ASW excellence.

Ashore, he served as the flag aide to the deputy commander, United States Fleet Forces Command. He then transferred and served as the aide to the Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command, Commander, United States FIFTH Fleet, and Commander, Maritime Forces Central. Captain Purcell completed a tour as a fleet replacement squadron instructor naval flight officer and operations officer with Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30). In 2014, he was assigned to the Navy Personnel Command as the VP/VPU/VUP placement officer. He later served as executive assistant to Director, Assessments Division (N81) on the OPNAV staff. In October 2021, he assumed the role as executive officer aboard USS WASP (LHD 1). He took over as Commanding Officer of USS WASP (LHD 1) September 2023.

Captain Purcell’s personal decorations include Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Achievement Medals as well as numerous unit, campaign, and service medals.


 
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