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Female President Announced for U.S. Naval War College

Rear Admiral Shoshana S. Chatfield
Rear Admiral Shoshana S. Chatfield

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-15 17:42:52

The Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer announced on June 14 that Rear Admiral Shoshana S. Chatfield will be the new president of the Naval War College.

Chatfield will be the first female president in the history of the Naval War College. She earned her doctorate in education from the University of San Diego. She is a naval aviator (helicopters) who commanded at both the squadron and wing levels. She also served as a Provincial Reconstruction Team Commander in Farah Province, Afghanistan. She is currently serving as Commander, Joint Region Marianas, Guam.

Established in 1884, NWC is the oldest institution of its kind in the world. More than 50,000 students have graduated since its first class of nine students in 1885 and about 300 of today's active duty admirals, generals and senior executive service leaders are alumni.

“Rear Admiral Chatfield is a historic choice for the Naval War College. She is the embodiment of the type of warrior-scholar we need now to lead this storied institution as it educates our next generation of leaders,” said Spencer. “As our Education for Seapower Study noted, our capacity for critical thinking in an age of increasing complexity will be our most important strategic advantage. Admiral Chatfield will play a pivotal role in leading the War College as it integrates into the new Naval University system we are now establishing to foster a culture of continuous learning in the naval services.”

Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harley was removed from his post as president on June 10 after reports he is under investigation for alleged inappropriate behavior.

Biography of Shoshana Chatfield

A native of Garden Grove, California, Chatfield graduated from Boston University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French Language and Literature. She received her commission through Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps in 1988 and earned her wings of gold in 1989. 

Chatfield was awarded the Navy’s Political/Military Scholarship and attended the Kennedy School of Government, receiving a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University in 1997. In 2009, the University of San Diego conferred upon her the degree of Doctor of Education.

She was assigned to west coast Helicopter Combat Support Squadrons (HC), serving in HC-1, HC-3, HC-5 and twice in HC-11 before making the move to the Helicopter Sea Combat community.

Operationally, she flew the SH-3, CH-46D and MH-60S and deployed in helicopter detachments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf supporting Carrier Strike Group and Amphibious Ready Group Operations.

Ashore, she participated in the Joint Staff/OSD Internship Program, augmenting the Joint Staff, Plans and Policy (J-5) Directorate, Central & Eastern European Branch; was assigned as deputy executive assistant to the chief of Naval Operations; was senior military assistant to the supreme allied commander Europe; and was the United States deputy military representative to the NATO Military Committee.

She served as assistant professor of political science at the United States Air Force Academy from 2001-2004.

Chatfield was the 20th commanding officer of HC-5 and, upon its disestablishment, the first commanding officer of HSC-25, the Island Knights. She subsequently commanded a joint provincial reconstruction team in Farah Province, Afghanistan, in 2008 and was type wing commander of HSC Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet from 2011-2013. Chatfield assumed command of Joint Region Marianas in January 2017.

Her personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various unit awards.