Rear Admiral Carl Lahti is a native of Buffalo, New York. He is a 1989 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. He holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. From 2005-2006, Lahti served as an associate fellow with the Chief of Naval Operations where he studied alternative energy strategies for the Navy.
His operational tours include division officer, USS Stonewall Jackson (SSBN 645)(BLUE); navigator, USS Miami (SSN 755), and executive officer, USS Dallas (SSN 700). He commanded USS Nebraska (SSBN 739)(GOLD) in Bangor, Washington.
His shore and staff assignments include operations officer on the staff of Commander, Submarine Squadron 4; deputy commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12, and Chief, Strategic Effects Division, in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) of the Joint Staff. Lahti also served as the 50th commanding officer of Naval Submarine Base New London, and the chief of staff at Navy Installations Command.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, among other unit and campaign commendations.