Rear Adm. (ret) Wendi B. Carpenter is the daughter of an Air Force veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Raised throughout the United States, she graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.
Carpenter was commissioned in 1978 through Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. and in July 1979 was designated a Naval Aviator. Graduating at the top of her class, she was assigned as the Navy’s first Selectively Retained Graduate Instructor Pilot (SERGRAD) in the T-44 aircraft at VT-31, NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. In 1981, she was ordered to sea duty with the “Ironmen” of VQ-3, NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii, where she served as a mission commander, aircraft commander and instructor pilot in the EC-130 F/G/Q aircraft. Carpenter deployed throughout the Pacific, western United States, and Alaska in support of the nation’s strategic nuclear triad. She completed a shore tour as an aviation assignments officer, Washington DC and, in 1985, accepted a Reserve component commission.
Carpenter has held a total of five commands at the commander, captain and flag level in the areas of logistics, training, and aviation in fleet, joint and coalition operations, giving her a unique warfighting perspective. She has also completed numerous fleet and shore staff assignments.
Carpenter has accepted numerous recalls to active duty, including her final assignment where in June 2008, she assumed command of Navy Warfare Development Command. There she and her team worked to deliver capability for Navy, joint and coalition forces through concept generation and development, doctrine, modeling and simulation, and experimentation.
Previous flag assignments include deputy commander, Navy Region Southeast; acting director, OPNAV N31 (Information, Plans, and Security); vice director, Standing Joint Forces HQ, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and deputy commander, Second Fleet. She has represented the United States in a number of coalition and NATO forums in Europe and Africa.
Carpenter has pursued graduate studies in marketing and holds a master of arts in international relations from Salve Regina University. She is a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College and completed Capstone 06-02, as well as executive programs in business, strategic planning and innovation at National Defense University, Defense Acquisition University, University of North Carolina Business School, Chapel Hill, and Babson College. She has accumulated over 3,500 military flight hours.
Carpenter’s awards include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3), Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (5), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit awards. She is most proud of the FY01 DON CIO Award for “e-Business” in government, which was won by the 75-member team she led as Commanding Officer, DCNO N4, Fleet Readiness and Logistics.