Commanding Officer

DONALD R. CUDDINGTON, JR.
Captain
, U.S.
Navy
Commanding Officer

And Professor of Naval Science
Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps
The Ohio State University

Captain Cuddington is a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, and was commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of North Carolina on 10 May 1986.  Upon designation as a Naval Aviator and completion of UH-1N training, he reported to the Air Department aboard the USS SAIPAN (LHA 2).  After this assignment he transitioned to the SH-60B and completed three consecutive squadron tours in HSL-46, HSL-40 and HSL-48.  He then attended the Naval War College and, immediately after graduation, reported to the Joint Staff (J3) where he served in the Deputy Directorate for Operations (Antiterrorism/Force Protection). In April 2003, he reported to HSL-48 as the Executive Officer.

Captain Cuddington served as the Commanding Officer of HSL-48 from June 2004 to September 2005. During this period the VIPERS of HSL-48 earned the Battle “E,” the Golden Wrench for maintenance excellence and the Isbell trophy for warfare excellence.

Following command he served as the Navigator aboard the USS KITTY HAWK (CV 63) which was based in Yokosuka, Japan. During this tour he was selected to participate in the Federal Executive Fellowship (FEF) program, academic year 2007-2008, at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. His FEF follow on assignment was with the Navy International Programs Office as a division director where he oversaw Foreign Military Sales from the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard to countries within North and South America.   

Captain Cuddington was assigned to PHIBRON FIVE from June 2010 to June 2013. He reported as the Deputy Commander under the fleet up model and assumed command in February 2012. PHIBRON FIVE deployed with the 11th MEU as the MAKIN ISLAND Amphibious Ready Group/ Marine Expeditionary Unit during this tour.