Rear Adm. Donegan is a 1980 cum laude graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.
His first operational assignment was as a plank owner to the Wildcats of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131 where he made the first East Coast deployment of the F/A-18 culminating in the successful Libyan air strikes in April 1986. He served as a department head in VFA-37 earning the Strike Fighter Wing’s Mike Longhart Leadership Award. He also served as executive officer on USS George Washington (CVN 73) when the ship garnered the Battle E, The Admiral Flatley Safety Award and the Battenberg Cup.
Donegan commanded VFA-131 completing a deployment to the Persian Gulf on USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the U.S. 3rd Fleet command ship, USS Coronado (AGF11) earning three command excellence awards. He commanded the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) through work-ups and a seven-month around-the-world combat deployment earning the Battle E. He also led Carl Vinson through the first 12 months of their refueling overhaul and spearheaded Naval Aviation Enterprise’s Carrier Readiness Team. He was honored as the Tailhook Association’s Tailhooker of the Year for 2006.@He also commanded Battle Force 7th Fleet and Carrier Strike Group 5 aboard USS George Washington@(CVN 73) homeported in Japan.
Ashore, he served at the Pentagon as director of Strategy and Policy Division on the Navy staff; as a test pilot; and, as the aide/administrative assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations. He completed joint duty as flag lieutenant to the Commander, Allied Forces Southern Europe in Naples, Italy. During that tour he deployed to Sarajevo as the NATO liaison officer to the Commander, United Nations Protection Forces (UNPROFOR) serving as the principal air advisor during NATO’s Deliberate Force air strikes. He most recently served as the director of Operations, United States Central Command.
He is currently serving as the director of Warfare Integration (OPNAV N9I).
Donegan graduated the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School as the Outstanding Student, the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), the Navy Nuclear Power School, the USAF Air Command and Staff College and the Joint Forces Staff College.
His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, five Legion of Merits, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Air Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and multiple unit, service and campaign awards. His flying experience includes over 3,800 hours in 31 different types of aircraft and over 800 arrested landings on 15 different aircraft carriers.