Rear Adm. Don Gabrielson is a Minnesota native and graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the United States Naval Academy in 1989, and master’s degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1995, and the National War College in 2005.
Operational command tours include Commander, Carrier Strike Group 11/Nimitz Carrier Strike Group and Commander, Logistics Group Western Pacific/Task Force 73 in Singapore. Gabrielson also commanded USS Cape St. George (CG 71), as well as being the first commanding officer of USS Freedom (LCS 1). He also deployed while serving aboard USS Anzio (CG 68), USS Russell (DDG 59), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60).
Ashore, Gabrielson served as executive assistant to Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, aide to the vice chief of Naval Operations, and an operations research analyst in the Assessment Division (N81) of the Chief of Naval Operations staff. He also served two tours as liaison to the U.S. Congress in the Secretary of the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs and the Joint Staff.
Gabrielson was a 2010 fellow in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Seminar XXI program and a Chief of Naval Operations Fellow in the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group XXXIII. He served in teams recognized for operational excellence, innovation, and contributions to named operations during deployments around the globe supporting every numbered Fleet, visiting and working alongside over a hundred partner and Allied nations. Awards include five battle efficiency “E,” two CNO surface ship safety and two LAMPS helicopter safety awards, a Secretary of the Navy energy conservation award, multiple Wellness and Golden Anchor retention awards, and multiple Joint, Navy, and unit commendation awards.