Tamara Graham


Tamara Graham

CAPT Tamara Graham, U.S. Navy (ret) was born in Rome, New York to a military family. She grew up in various places, eventually graduating high school in Huntsville, AL and attending the University of Virginia on a Navy ROTC scholarship.

In 1993 she received her degree in Biology, commissioned and was selected to Navy flight training, just one month after the combat exclusion law was lifted. This change in policy opened all Navy aircraft and combat ships to women for the first time and allowed Graham to pursue her dream of flying H-60 helicopters off of aircraft carriers.

She was designated a Naval Aviator, earning her Wings of Gold in February 1996 and reported to San Diego, CA. for her first of many fleet tours flying SH-60F and HH-60H aircraft. Her operational tours included HS-6, HS-8, and HS-4, deploying as part of the carrier air wing (CVW) onboard USS Kitty Hawk, USS Carl Vinson, USS John C. Stennis and USS Ronald Reagan. Her time at sea has taken her around the world supporting various operations including forward deploying to Iraq in support of Special Forces operations and conducting humanitarian assistance/disaster relief following a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.

CAPT Graham was also an H-60 instructor pilot at HS-10 and Carrier Strike Group training specialist at Commander Carrier Group One. Following her master’s degree in National Security Studies, she supported Joint operations as the Southeast Asia Division Chief for Special Operations Command, Pacific and was selected for operational command at sea. She was blessed to lead the Legendary Black Knights of HS/HSC-4, transitioning the squadron to the new MH-60S and deploying in support of the Rim of The Pacific international exercise.

As a staff officer, Graham was the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Naval Air Forces, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Naval War College and finished her career as the Naval Air Forces Requirements Director (N8) here in San Diego, CA.

She is a two time recipient of the CNAF Navy and Marine Peer Leadership Award (Department Head and Commanding Officer), a former squadron Pilot of the Year and NHA Region One Instructor of the Year. She is a graduate of the Navy’s Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor School and has over 3000 flight hours in the venerable H-60.

Graham retired from active duty in June 2023 and continues to support the Navy mission as a government civilian, conducting leader development, talent management and outreach on behalf of Naval Aviation. She is a wife and mom as well as the proud daughter of a career Air Force officer and Vietnam veteran. She is honored to serve as a MNCSF board member and is dedicated to upholding dignity and respect for all who served this great Nation and the families who supported them.

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