LIEUTENANT COMMADER CHRISTIAN CRUZ UNITED STATES NAVY
Lieutenant Commander Christian Cruz is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. In July 1989, he joined the Navy and attended basic training at RTC Orlando, FL. In November 1989, he reported as an undesignated airman to VAW-125 “Tiger Tails” and deployed on-board USS SARATOGA (CV 60) during OPERATIONS DESERT STORM and DESERT SHIELD. He served as an E-2C Hawk-Eye Plane Captain and Power Plants Trouble Shooter and Final Checker. Lieutenant Commander Cruz then attended AE “A” school at Millington, TN where he became an Aviation Electricians Mate and promoted to Third Class Petty Officer.
In January 1992 he reported to VR-24 “Lifting Eagles” at NAS Sigonella, Sicily. He performed duties as C-2A and CT-39 Avionics Technician. Lieutenant Commander Cruz then joined VS-30 “Diamond Cutters” and deployed on-board USS SARATOGA (CV 60) in support of the Bosnia-Herzegovina crisis. On November 1994 he served with VC-8 “Red Tails” at NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. He performed duties as UH-3H and TA-4J Collateral Duty Inspector and Shop Supervisor. He then transferred to AIMD, NAVSTA Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico to perform duties as Electrical and Instrument Branch LPO from December 1997 to October 1998. In October 1998, Lieutenant Commander Cruz was selected to become part of the Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron “Blue Angels” and transferred to NAS Pensacola where he became the Blue Angels Lead Crew Chief. In 2001, he was selected as “Blue Angel of the Year” for the 2001 season. He then transferred to HC-5 “Providers” on Andersen AFB, Guam where he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and performed duties as Maintenance Material Control Officer (MMCO) from February 2002 to December 2003. He was responsible for the establishment of a Field Calibrating Activity with Depot level capabilities as well as the successful transition from the H-46 Helicopter to the new MH-60S platform. After this tour, Lieutenant Commander Cruz reported to VS-30 “Diamond Cutters” on-board USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) where he deployed in support of OPERATIONS IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. He performed duties as Line Division Chief Petty Officer, Flight Deck Coordinator, and Maintenance Control CPO as well as Material Control Officer. He then commissioned as Limited Duty Officer Ensign in January 2006.
Following Officer accession training at Mustang University, Lieutenant Commander Cruz transferred to USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) where he performed duties as AIMD IM-3 Officer (Avionics), MMCO and Brig Officer. Following his Ship's Company tour, Lieutenant Commander Cruz reported to VFA-86 “Sidewinders” in Beaufort, South Carolina where he deployed with USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) and USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in support of OPERATIONS IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM. On October 2009, he joined the “Proud Warriors” of HSL-42 were he performed duties as AMO, MMCO and AMO. He was vital to the transition to the MH-60R platform and the incorporation of the Unmanned Aerial Systems “Fire Scout” into combat operations. He completed qualification as Professional Aviation Maintenance Officer. Lieutenant Commander Cruz then transferred to VP-10 “Red Lancers” on September 2012 where his efforts were key to the success of two combat deployments to NAF Misawa, Japan, Sheik Isa Air Base, Bahrain, Souda Bay, Crete, and Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of OPERATION INHERENT RESOLVE. He was instrumental in the squadron’s transition to the new P-8A “Poseidon” Multi-mission aircraft. On September 2015, Lieutenant Commander Cruz accepted orders to Navy Recruiting District Miami. He performed duties as Division 5 and 8 Division Officer and Medical Programs Officer Recruiter. During his tenure at NRD Miami, he inspired his team to meet and exceed goals ultimately earning CNRC National District of the Year FY18, Division of the Year FY16, Navy Officer Recruiting Station of the Year FY16 awards, and a CNRC Admiral’s Warrior Award FY17 (1st QTR).
Lieutenant Commander Cruz' awards include the Navy Commendation Medal (Nine awards), Navy Achievement Medal (Four awards), Good Conduct Medal (Four awards) and various unit and campaign decorations. He resides in Tampa, FL with his Wife, Carolann, and his Son, Sebastian. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Excelsior College and a Master’s Degree from Liberty University.