Rear Adm. (ret.) Craig O. McDonald, a native of Miles City, Mont., graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1976. On October 21, 1977, after initial flight training at VT-10 and Advanced Airborne Tactical Data Systems training at RVAW-120, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer. Released from active duty in June 1982, he moved to Suffern, N.Y., and was employed with New York Telephone. McDonald was selected for the Training and Administration of Reserve (TAR) program and was recalled to active duty in April1983.
McDonald's significant tours include: VAW-123, "Screwtops", Division Officer and Department Head; RVAW-120, "Grey Hawks", NFO Instructor; VAW-1086, "Augger Doggers", flight crew; VAW-88, "CottonPickers", Officer-in-Charge; Commander, Naval Air Reserve Force, Air Operations and Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Fleet Support; VAW-78, "Fighting Escargots" Commanding Officer; NAS JRB Fort Worth, Commanding Officer; Chief of Naval Operations (N095), Executive Assistant to the Director of the Navy Reserve; and Deputy Director Navy Reserve. He was selected for Flag rank on 1 August 2003 and served as Chief, Office of the Defense Representative Pakistan from July 2004 until October 2005. He served as Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command from Aug. 12, 2005, until his retirement March 1, 2008. He is presently employed with TSM Corporation as Vice President Division Director of the company’s Maintenance and Logistics Division.
McDonald has 5,000 total hours that includes over 4,600 hours in the E-2C aircraft. He had the privilege of working with the finest enlisted and officer personnel in the United States Navy throughout his career.
His decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (three awards), Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), Meritorious Unit Commendation (four awards), Battle "E" ribbon (three awards), Navy Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal (two awards), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Ribbon (four awards) and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal (with silver hourglass).