Cmdr. Robert Gillis, Jr.
Commanding Officer, USS Chicago (SSN 721)
CDR Rob Gillis from Philadelphia, PA graduated from Villanova University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and received his commission through Villanova's Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) program. He has also earned a Masters Degree in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and a Masters of Science in National Resourcing Strategy from National Defense University’s Eisenhower School.
After completing nuclear power training and the Submarine Officer Basic Course (SOBC), he reported to his first assignment, USS HYMAN G. RICKOVER (SSN 709) in Norfolk, VA where he qualified in Submarines and served as the Electrical Assistant (EA) and Reactor Control Assistant(RCA). He completed one Northern Atlantic deployment on RICKOVER, which earned the Battle Efficiency "E" prior to her decommission. After RICKOVER's deactivation, CDR Gillis transferred to USS JACKSONVILLE (SSN 699) where he served as Assistant Weapons Officer (AWEPS) and completed a second Northern Atlantic deployment.
Ashore, CDR Gillis served as Strike and Mine Countermeasures Action Officer at Commander, Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE's Tactical Analysis Group before deploying to Fifth Fleet to serve as Submarine Liaison Officer aboard Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE.
Following completion of the Submarine Officer Advanced Course (SOAC), CDR Gillis reported as Strategic Navigation/Operations Officer (NAV) to the USS WYOMING (SSBN 742) (GOLD) in Kings Bay, GA. During his tour, the ship completed four Strategic deterrent patrols earning the Battle Efficiency "E" and Arleigh Burke awards.
After his Department Head tour, CDR Gillis reported to the staff of Commander Submarine Forces Atlantic/Combined Task Force 144 where he served as the Strategic Targeting Officer.
CDR Gillis served aboard USS FLORIDA (GOLD) (SSGN 728) as Executive Officer (XO). During his tenure, he led FLORIDA out of the longest SSGN Extended Refit Period ever conducted (16 months) and back to forward deployed operations, ready to conduct the full spectrum of SSGN operations in both the 5th and 6th Fleet AOR.
CDR Gillis post XO shore tour included serving as the Future Capabilities, UC, and UUV Branch Head at Director, Undersea Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N974A). He most recently served as the Deputy for Readiness for Commander, Submarine Squadron NINETEEN.
His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards) Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various campaign and unit awards.