The Author

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Captain Dana R. Gordon graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in electrical engineering, and was commissioned as a naval officer through that school’s NROTC program. He later attended flight school in Pensacola, Florida, where he learned to fly both fixed wing turbo prop aircraft and helicopters, earning his U.S. Navy Wings of Gold as an Unrestricted Naval Aviator. During his naval career he also earned his MBA from Embry-Riddle University, and completed coursework at the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has been a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity for over 33 years.

Throughout his 29-year career in the U.S. Navy, Captain Gordon completed six deployments onboard numerous navy ships, gaining over six years of total sea duty time while flying over 3,540 flight hours, seeing 19 countries on 5 continents, and sailing over 8 major oceans and seas throughout the world. He completed a tour at the Pentagon as a member of the Joint Staff, was the Commanding Officer at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light Four Two, and worked as the Navy’s Head Aviation Diversity Officer, where he was named as one of Diversity MBA Magazine’s top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive and Emerging Leaders throughout the United States.

He did another tour at the Pentagon as an aide to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, after which he was chosen by Senior Naval Leadership to command the Amphibious Assault Aircraft Carrier USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7), one of the largest ships in the U.S. Navy’s fleet. Captain Gordon also successfully led the Navy Southeastern Region’s Crisis Action Team through the preparation, response, and evacuation operations of five major hurricanes.

Accolades and honors Captain Gordon has received over his career include two Naval Air Flight Medals, two Sikorsky Aviation Rescue pins, Instructor Pilot of the Year, Squadron and Air Wing’s Officer of the Year. He is a two-time Naval Air Forces and Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award winner, and as Commanding Officer also led his squadron to the Battle Efficiency Award as Best in Air Wing winner for three straight years, while also receiving the Secretary of the Navy’s Aviation Safety award. As a ship Commanding Officer he led his team to the Navy’s Battle Efficiency Award as the Best Ship in Its Class, along with the Secretary of the Navy’s Safety and Personnel Retention Awards.

After 29 wonderfully fulfilling, eventful, and rewarding years as an officer and aviator in the world’s greatest navy, Captain Gordon and his wife of 28 years retired to Jacksonville, Florida, where they now reside. The proud father of two highly competitive soccer players, he is currently employed as the Director of Engineering at Fanatics, Inc.