Just after we learned that Electronics Technician Master Chief Petty Officer Tim Preabt was going to be the Chief of the Boat – the COB, we learned that Commander Doug Gordon had been appointed as the Commanding Officer of USS NORTH DAKOTA (SSN-784). [In my blog I always use USS for United States Ship in referring to NORTH DAKOTA, and I will continue to do so, but technically until she is commissioned in 2014, her proper designation is PCU for Pre Commissioning Unit.] Commander Gordon got in touch with us to begin with us a mutually wonderful relationship. Here is his official photo.
After high school he enlisted in the Navy and attended Nuclear Power School. The Navy saw his potential and he was selected to attend Auburn University on an NROTC scholarship graduating and being commissioned in 1991. Since completing nuclear power training and the Submarine Officer Basic Course he has been assigned to several submarines and staff positions. His prior submarine tours have been on USS ALBANY (SSN 753), where he received his Dolphins as a qualified submarine officer, Engineer Officer on USS LOUISIANA (SSBN 743) [Blue crew], and Executive Officer in USS SANTA FE (SSN 763). Prior to his appointment as NORTH DAKOTA’s Commanding Officer, he served as Deputy Commander for Readiness on the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron Fifteen in Guam until July 2011. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal with two gold stars, the Navy Commendation Medal with three gold stars, and the Navy Achievement Medal with two gold stars. He and his wife Christine are the parents of three sons.
In January 2012 Commander Gordon and his wife Christine came to Bismarck to visit his boat’s namesake. Commander Gordon gave an excellent speech at a dinner meeting of the North Dakota Council of the Navy League of the United States on January 11th. The next day he answered questions for reporters at a press conference and that evening he was introduced at the Annual Meeting Dinner of the Bismarck – Mandan Area Chamber of Commerce. He and Christine got a brief tour of Bismarck and Mandan, including a stop at the State Historical Society to see a model of the 1st USS NORTH DAKOTA and that ship’s silver service.