Rear Adm. Pappano is a native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and a 1989 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
At sea, Pappano served onboard USS City of Corpus Christi (SSN 705), USS Albuquerque (SSN 706), USS Michigan (SSBN 727 Gold), and USS Ohio (SSGN 726). He commanded USS Buffalo (SSN 715) while forward-deployed in Guam.
Assignments ashore include duty in the Commander, Submarine Development Squadron 12 Tactical Action Group; onboard x-Daniel Webster (MTS 626) at Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit Charleston, South Carolina; military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy; and executive assistant to the Director, Programming Division (N80) on the Navy Staff.
After selection as an acquisition professional, Pappano served in the Special Operations Forces Mobility Program Office (PMS 399); as executive assistant to the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; and as major program manager for the Strategic and Attack Submarine Program Office (PMS 392) where he was responsible for in-service submarine maintenance, modernization and inactivation.
Pappano began serving in his initial flag assignment in June 2018 as director, Comprehensive Test Facility. He assumed command of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center on December 14, 2018.
Pappano served on teams that have been awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Navy “E” Ribbon.