Captain Rich McDaniel

Commanding Officer Naval Station Norfolk

U.S. Navy


Captain McDaniel is a native of Memphis, Tenn. where he attended the University of Memphis, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and was subsequently commissioned in 1992. He is a 2006 distinguished graduate and Halsey Group participant of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. where he earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security Affairs and Strategic Studies. He is also a 2013 graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College, where he completed Joint Professional Military Education, Phase II. Additionally, he earned a Certificate in Public Leadership from Washington University in St. Louis and Brookings Executive Education program.

At sea, McDaniel completed his command tour aboard the USS STERETT (DDG 104). He completed her maiden deployment and deployed again to 5th Fleet with the ABRAHAM LINCOLN STRIKE GROUP following a condensed training cycle. During his tenure, STERETT earned two consecutive Battle-E awards.

Throughout his career he has served at sea on five U.S. Navy combatants and two afloat staffs. He has 23 years of naval service and has deployed multiple times to the Arabian Gulf, Western Pacific, Eastern Pacific, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Caribbean. He also served as Executive Officer aboard USS PHILIPPINE SEA (CG 58), and Assistant Maritime Operations Officer for Carrier Strike Group Twelve, Operations Officer for Destroyer Squadron Six (CDS 6), and Combat System Officer on USS OBANNON (DD 987), First Lieutenant and Strike Officer on USS PAUL HAMILTON (DDG 60) and Communications Officer on USS ENGLAND (CG 22).

McDaniel’s shore duty assignments include Officer Manpower Requirements Analyst at the Naval Manpower Analysis Center, Millington, Tenn., and as Atlantic Fleet Placement Officer and Surface Warfare Lieutenant Commander and Commander Detailer, Pers- 41, Navy Personnel Command. He was the 2012-2013 Federal Executive Fellow at the Brookings Institute where he wrote, No Plan B: U.S. Strategic Access and the Question of Bahrain. He served as the Strategy Plans Integration Branch Chief within the Joint Staff J5, Deputy Directorate for Joint Strategic Planning (DD JSP). He was also selected to be the working group lead for the inaugural “Breakfast Club” O-6 Advanced Capability Deterrence Panel, a Deputy Secretary of Defense initiative. He reported to Naval Station Norfolk as Executive Officer in August 2015 and assumed command in March 2017.

McDaniel has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards) and the Navy Achievement Medal (three awards).