In a ceremony at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Rear Adm. David Titley assumed the office of oceanographer of the Navy, replacing retiring Rear Adm. David A. Gove. Titley will simultaneously maintain his current position as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command until a replacement can be found.
Headquartered at the U.S. Naval Observatory, the oceanographer of the Navy serves as the advisor to the chief of naval operations for resources, requirements, and policy with regard to the Naval Oceanography Program. The program, which includes the disciplines of oceanography, hydrography, meteorology, geospatial information and services, astrometry, and precise time, provides naval, joint and coalition warfighters understanding of the maritime environment to ensure safety and readiness for unencumbered global operations.
The oceanographer of the Navy also serves as the senior policy advisor for issues relating to national ocean policy and governance, and serves as the naval deputy to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Titley is the 19th person to hold the title "oceanographer of the Navy" since its inception in 1960. Traditionally held by an unrestricted line officer, Titley is the first career oceanographer to actually hold the office.
"The decision to promote an oceanographer to this office reflects the belief of Navy leadership about the importance of and emphasis on Navy engagement at the national level on such future challenges as climate change, Arctic policy, and efficient energy usage," Titley said.
Titley's former tours of duty include assignments as meteorology and oceanography officer in USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3), USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), and on the staffs of Carrier Group Six and Seventh Fleet. He has also served on the staff of the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, as assistant to the chairman for physical oceanography on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and as senior military assistant to the director of net assessment in the office of the secretary of defense.
He has also served as director of the Warfighting Support Center at the Naval Oceanographic Office, and as chief of staff for the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command.
His major commands include commander of the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, Calif., and most recently, commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
In April 2007, Titley was selected for promotion to the rank of Rear Admiral (lower half). He received his bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University, a master's of science in meteorology and oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a doctor of philosophy in meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School.