Captain David L Gray, the commanding officer of the US Naval Ship that is currently docked at Mombasa is a native of Massachusetts, and joined the U.S. Navy in August 1990 as an Engineman.
The docking of the shop in Mombasa has led to a lot of speculation about US’ intentions but without elaborating Washington said its main role is to ensure peace and stability in the region.
In 1996, Gray was selected for the Seaman-to-Admiral Program and commissioned on June 7, 1996. Following commissioning, he attended Surface Warfare Division Officer School in Newport, RI.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from ODU and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
His Sea duty assignments started June 1997 to July 1999 assigned to USS STOUT (DDG 55) where he served a s Communications Officer.
During this tour, he deployed to the Mediterranean and the Adriatic in support of Kosovo Peacekeeping Operations.
In May 1999, he reported to USS TYPHOON (PC 5), where he served as Weapons Officer. While on TYPHOON, he deployed to the Horn of Africa for various Special Warfare Operations.
In January 2004 he reported to USS PONCE (LPD 15) where he was assigned as the First Lieutenant. During his tour, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In August 2005, he transferred to USS NASSAU (LHA 4), where he served as First Lieutenant and deployed once again to the Arabian Gulf. From November 2011 to May 2013 he served as Executive Officer on USS ASHLAND (LSD 48).
He successfully transferred ASHLAND from EDPMA through INSURV making ASHLAND ready for HULL SWAP to Japan. During his XO tour he was selected for Commander Command.
Successfully completed his Command tour from November 2014 to April 2016 onboard USS WHIDBEY ISLAND (LSD 41).
His shore duty assignments started in January 2001, as part of the Seaman-to-Admiral Program, where he attended Old Dominion University and graduated Cum Laude and earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Upon graduation in May 2003, he attended Department Head School in Newport, RI. In April 2007, reported to Surface Warfare Development Group (SWDG) as the Mine Warfare Officer.
During his tour, he was selected for an Individual Augmentee assignment on the CENTCOM Staff and assigned to the J5’s Coalition Coordination Center.
Upon completion, he returned to SWDG and served as Deputy N7, Surface Warfare Directorate. In 2009, he attended the Joint Staff College earning his Joint Professional Military Education (Phase I) credit.
In August 2009 he reported to Strike Force Training Atlantic where he was assigned to N31, Maritime Operations, certifying CSGs and ARGs for deployment during their Intermediate Phase, while at CSFTL he was selected for XO Afloat.
From December 2013-November 2014 he served as Chief Staff Officer of Afloat Training Group, Atlantic, while stationed at ATG he attended Joint Forces Staff College and completed Joint Professional Military Education (Phase II) credit.
Assigned to a hot fill at COMNAVSURFLANT Staff as the N1 from May – Aug 2016. Served at Joint Staff Hampton Roads in J35 South, GFM as the JWG Waterside Lead, Rotation Branch Chief and the Joint Force Coordinator Division Chief.
Captain Gray’s personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (3 awards), in addition to other unit and service awards.