Rear Adm. Cozad is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a 1985 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanography/ Physics. He also holds a Master of Science in National Resource Management from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with distinction. Additionally, he attended the Navy’s Corporate Business Course, at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Cozad’s operational Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) tours span all four MPR sites, including Patrol Squadron 23, Brunswick, Maine; Patrol Squadron 9, Barbers Point / Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii; command of Patrol Squadron 40, Whidbey Island, Washington; and command of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11, Jacksonville, Florida. His other operational tours include flight deck officer / catapult and arresting gear officer aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), where he was awarded the Admiral William F. Bringle Award for inspirational leadership. Cozad has also served extensively as an instructor pilot in multiple operational tours, completed two tours with Patrol squadron 30, the P-3 Fleet Replacement Squadron, and another with 404 Squadron in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, where he was a CP-140 exchange instructor pilot with the Canadian Air Force.
Cozad served ashore at the Navy Personnel Command, Millington, Tennessee, in a variety of capacities including assignments as aviation commander / captain detailer, commanding officer, staff enlisted personnel and executive assistant to commander, Navy Personnel Command. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the 22nd Senior Director of the White House Situation Room. Additionally, he served as a CNO Fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group (XXXII) in Newport, Rhode Island.
Cozad’s initial flag officer assignment was as vice deputy director, Regional, Force Management and Future Operations (J-35), the joint staff in Norfolk, Virginia. He assumed command of Joint Task Force Guantanamo on July 10, 2014.