Capt. Tamara K. Graham, United States Navy
Originally from Rome, New York, Capt. Graham attended the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where she received a degree in biology in 1993. She was commissioned through the NROTC program that same year. She was designated a naval aviator in February 1996 and reported to HS-6 in San Diego, Calif. for her first Fleet tour. While there, she served as the combat search and rescue (CSAR) officer, aircraft division officer, and quality assurance officer. She deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) in 1996 and USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in 1998. Her tour culminated in her selection as the 1999 HS-6 Pilot of the Year.
Following HS-6, Capt. Graham reported to HS-10 as an Instructor Pilot in the SH-60F/HH- 60H helicopter. While there, she served as the line division officer, the combat search and rescue curriculum officer, and quality assurance officer. She was also selected as the 2001 NHA Region One Instructor of the Year.
In November 2002 Capt. Graham reported to COMCARGRU ONE (CCG-1) where she assisted in the planning and evaluation of Composite Training Unit Exercises for all west coast carrier and expeditionary strike groups. During this tour, she was selected to attend the Seahawk Weapons and Tactics training course and was designated a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI) in March 2004. Capt. Graham reported to the HS-8 Eightballers in July 2004 for her department head tour. In addition to being the squadron SWTI, she served as plans and operations officer.
She deployed on USS Carl Vinson in 2005 and forward deployed to conduct overland combat operations in support of Multi-National Division-SE and Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying more than 40 combat sorties. She was also awarded the 2006 CNAF Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award. In 2007, Capt. Graham attended Naval War College where she received her Master’s degree in national security studies. Following that tour, she reported for a joint duty assignment at special operations command, pacific (SOPAC) where she conducted theater security cooperation planning and engagement in South and Southeast Asia.
Capt. Graham reported to the HS-4 Black Knights as the executive officer in August 2010. During her executive officer tour, she deployed on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), participating in Operations Tomodachi, New Dawn, and Enduring Freedom as well as numerous overseas contingency operations. She took command of the Legendary Black Knights in October 2011 and led them through their transition to HSC-4, Rimpac 2012 and reassignment to the CVW-2 Broadsword team. As commanding officer, she was selected for the 2012 Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award. Following HSC-4, she reported to CNAF Staff in June 2013 as the director of diversity and inclusion.
In 2016, Capt. Graham was assigned as vice president and chief of staff for U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. Capt. Graham has more than 3,000 flight hours in SH-60F/H/S aircraft. Her awards and decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Air Medals (Strike/Flight), 4 Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, 2 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various unit and campaign decorations.