Program Update: Prospective Commanding Officer Program

Pictured L-R: Capt. Dave Pollard, Prospective Commanding Officer of the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, Capt. Michel C. Brandt, Special Assistant for Carrier Operations, Naval Reactors, Hayden Richardson, Stennis Center Program Assistant and Truman-Albright Fellow, and Dr. Brian Pugh, Stennis Center Executive Director, in Washington, D.C.

Last month, the incoming officer of the USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH, Capt. Dave Pollard, visited Capitol Hill as part of the Stennis Center for Public Service’s Prospective Commanding Officer Program. 

Capt. Dave Pollard is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, and a 1996 United States Naval Academy graduate with a B.S. in systems engineering. He also attended Regent University, and in May 2012, was named the Regent University School of Global Leadership and Entrepreneurship 2012 Outstanding Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership Graduate.

A Navy pilot, Capt. Pollard deployed with both The Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, flying the F/A-18C Hornet with Strike Fighter Squadron THREE FOUR (VFA-34), the “Blue Blasters;” Strike Fighter Squadron ONE THREE SIX (VFA-136), the “Knighthawks;”and Strike Fighter Squadron ONE NINE TWO (VFA-192), the “World Famous Golden Dragons.” Flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet, he served as the executive officer and then commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE NINE FIVE (VFA-195), the “Dambusters.”

Ashore, Capt. Pollard served as strike fighter tactics instructor at Strike Fighter Weapons School, Atlantic, a project lead for both the U.S. Joint Forces Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the naval financial analyst/programmer for tactical aviation for the president’s budget in the Chief of Naval Operations office.

Capt. Pollard completed the Aviation Nuclear Power Training Program to become the executive officer of the USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76), the only forward deployed aircraft carrier, stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.

Capt. Pollard is currently the commanding officer of the USS MOUNT WHITNEY, the U.S. SIXTH Fleet Command Ship, stationed in Gaeta, Italy.

Capt. Pollard has more than 3,000 F/A-18 flight hours and 1,026 arrested carrier landings. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Strike Flight Air Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various unit, service, and campaign awards.

The purpose of the Prospective Commanding Officer (PCO) Program is to foster connections between members of Congress, senior-level staff, and incoming prospective commanding officers of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The PCO program takes place during officers’ final steps before assuming command and helps to develop an understanding of national security issues and congressional interests between civilian and congressional leaders and main fleet units. The PCO program also helps improve civil-military relations by facilitating a periodic luncheon or dinner on Capitol Hill for PCOs.

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One Research Boulevard, Ste. 104, Starkville, MS 39759

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One Research Boulevard, Ste. 104, Starkville, MS 39759

(662) 325-8409

201 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Ste. C-7, Washington, D.C. 20002 

(202) 546-1837