CDR Eric Knepper
Commanding Officer, USS Santa Fe
Commander Knepper, a native of Bangor, Pennsylvania, started his career by enlisting as an Electronics Technician (Nuclear). Following his training, Knepper attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School in 2000. He later graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in General Engineering while being a member of the rugby team. He went on to earn a Master’s in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.
His first tour was on the USS Albuquerque (SSN 706). There he served as the Torpedo/Fire Control Officer, Damage Control Assistant, and Communications Officer. During his tour, the ship completed deployed operations to the Caribbean Sea, Middle East, and Western Pacific and earned the 2006 Submarine Squadron Two Battle “E” award. He conducted Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East deployments while serving as Weapons Officer of the USS Alexandria (SSN 757) where he led the crew through a deployment to the Western Pacific.
His shore assignments include tours in Arlington, VA as a Program Manager for CNO priority acquisitions on both the staffs of Defense Liaison Division and Research and Development Support Activity. He also served on staff for the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy for Policy as the Deputy Director for the Integration Support Directorate’s Technology Studies Group portfolio. His most recent tour was on the staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet as the Combat Readiness Evaluation Team Executive Officer.
Commander Knepper’s awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (six awards), and Navy Achievement Medal, plus various campaign, service, and personal decorations.