Vice Adm. Michael Gilday is the son of a Navy Sailor and a native of Lowell, Massachusetts. A surface warfare officer, he is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds two master’s degrees. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and a distinguished graduate of the National War College in Washington, D.C.
At sea, he served on cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers including deployments to the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, the Indian Ocean and the Western and South Pacific. Prior to command, his sea tours include deployments on USS Chandler (DDG 996) supporting U.S. flagged tanker convoys during the Iran-Iraq War; USS Princeton (CG 59) during Desert Shield/Storm when it was damaged by Iraqi mines; and USS Gettysburg (CG 64) during Operation Desert Fox. He commanded the destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) during the initial combat operations of Iraqi Freedom and later USS Benfold (DDG 65). Both destroyers earned the Battle Efficiency "E" Award. Subsequently, he commanded Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 7 serving as sea combat commander for the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. Most recently, he commanded Carrier Strike Group 8 embarked on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69).
His shore assignments include the Bureau of Naval Personnel, the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate and the staff of the vice chief of naval operations.
His joint assignments include the White House where he served as naval aide to the President; and executive assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As a flag officer, he served as director of Operations at NATO’s Joint Force Command in Lisbon, Portugal, and as chief of staff for Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO.
Gilday’s last tour was as director of Operations, J3, for U.S. Cyber Command. He assumed command of U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet in July 2016.
He is the recipient of various personal, unit and campaign awards including the Defense Superior Service Medal (three), Legion of Merit (three), Bronze Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and the Combat Action Ribbon.