Navy Biography

Rear Admiral Karl O. Thomas

Commander, Task Force SEVEN ZERO/Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIVE

Rear Admiral Karl O. Thomas

Rear Adm. Thomas is a native of Northern Virginia and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1986 with a degree in Management Systems.  He also hold a Master of Science in Information Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Following initial training on the E-2C Hawkeye, Thomas served with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 114(VAW-114) where he made two deployments aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), as well as, two counter-narcotic detachments to Panama.  Thomas also served as a navigator aboard USS New Orleans (LPH 11) and USS Essex (LHD 2).  He served a tour as an aviation department head with VAW-117, and once again deployed aboard the Carl Vinson in 1999 participating in Operation Desert Fox.

Thomas was executive officer and commanding officer of VAW-117 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.  After graduating from Nuclear Power School, Thomas served as executive officer of both USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS George Washington (CVN 73), delivering the first permanently forward deployed nuclear aircraft carrier to Japan.  In 2009, he commanded the U.S. 6th Fleet Command Ship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 17) and completed numerous joint exercises in the Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Baltic Seas.  He assumed command of USS Abraham Lincoln from September 2012 to August 2014 for refueling complex overhaul (RCOH).  He reported to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the commanding officer in September 2014 where he completed his fourth deployment on the Carl Vinson in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Shore duty assignments include VAW-110 as a fleet replacement instructor; flag aide for both Commander, Fighter Airborne Early Warning Wing Pacific and Director of Naval Reactors.  He served in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics) (OUSD AT&L) (Unmanned Warfare) and coordinated the OUSD AT&L Unmanned Air Systems Task Force.  He served as executive assistant to Director, Air Warfare (N98), and most recently served as director, 21st Century Sailor Office (N17).

Thomas assumed the duties of Commander, Task Force SEVEN ZERO/Commander, Carrier Strike Group FIVE on 18 July 2018.


Updated: 26 February 2019