Captain Kurt Balagna
Commanding Officer, Gold Crew, USS Ohio
A native of Farmington, Illinois, Captain Balagna enlisted in the Navy in April 1992 as a Nuclear Electronics Technician. In 1997, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Illinois and received his commission through the ROTC scholarship program.
Following initial nuclear power and submarine training, he reported to USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (Blue) in Kings Bay, GA where he completed five strategic deterrent patrols. He subsequently served as a Tactics and Target Motion Analysis instructor at Naval Submarine School in Groton, CT.
Captain Balagna reported to USS Hawaii (SSN 776) as the vessel’s first Combat Systems Officer and member of the commissioning crew. While HAWAII was undergoing new construction, he deployed to the USCENTCOM area of responsibility aboard USS Annapolis (SSN 760).
Following his department head tour, he earned a Master of National Security and Strategic Studies degree and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I while attending Naval War College in Newport, RI. Additionally, he earned a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University. Captain Balagna then completed The Netherlands Submarine Command Course and served as director of the Submarine Officer Advanced Course and Basic Course at Naval Submarine School.
Captain Balagna performed the duties of Executive Officer on USS Virginia (SSN 774) when VIRGINIA completed the first major overhaul of a Virginia Class submarine and earned the Battle Efficiency award. His follow-on assignment was to Submarine Development Squadron TWELVE as the Virginia Class action officer and Executive Officer of the Tactical Analysis Group.
As Commanding Officer of USS Annapolis (SSN 760), he led ANNAPOLIS through an Engineered Overhaul and two changes of home port to include an inter-fleet transfer to San Diego. His follow-on assignment was deputy division chief for Strategy and Campaign Planning within the J5 Plans and Policy Directorate, United States Strategic Command. While at USSTRATCOM, he completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase II.
Captain Balagna is entitled to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit awards and citations.