CDR James "Woody" Griffin

Reserve Component National Security Course Director


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Commander Griffin graduated from Jacksonville University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. He earned his commission through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps. He was designated a Naval Aviator in April 2002 and received initial MH-53E training at the Airborne Mine Countermeasures Weapon Systems Training School (AWSTS) in Norfolk, VA.

In 2002, CDR Griffin’s first fleet assignment was to the “Blackhawks” of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron FIFTEEN (HM-15) in Corpus Christi, TX. He qualified as AMCM Mission Commander and Functional Check Pilot. He completed multiple deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf supporting Operations IRAQI FREEDOM AND ENDURING FREEDOM. He served as Ground Safety, Flight Officer, and DET 2 Operations Officer.

In 2006, CDR Griffin became an MH-53E Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot at the AWSTS located in Norfolk, VA. During this tour, he deployed as an Individual Augmentee to Joint Task Force Paladin in Bagram, Afghanistan. He served as the J-35 Future OPS and Future Plans Officer for all near and long term counter IED operations in Afghanistan. While attached to AWSTS, he earned a Master’s in Business Administration with honors from the American Military University. He served as the Weapons and Tactics Unit OIC, CNS/ATM Program Lead, and Curriculum Officer.

In 2009, CDR Griffin transitioned to the Full-Time Support (FTS) program and reported for his Department Head tour back to the “Blackhawks” of HM-15 in Norfolk, VA. He qualified as an AMCM Instructor Pilot, NVD Instructor Pilot, DLQ Instructor Pilot, and NATOPS Instructor. He deployed to RIMPAC, JTF HAITI, providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief to earthquake victims, and other detachments. He was flight lead for a 9 aircraft Centennial of Naval Aviation mixed formation flight. He served as Safety Officer, Training Officer, Det Officer in Charge (OIC), and Reserve Component OIC.

In 2012, CDR Griffin reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, (OPNAV) N45, in Washington, D.C. He served as Deputy Director of the Navy Energy Coordination Office, overseeing the creation of operational energy strategy, policy, and $1.8B of operational energy investments. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College, College of Distance Education Command and Staff, earning Joint Professional Military Education Phase I.

In 2015, CDR Griffin reported as Commanding Officer of the Navy Operational Support Center in Springfield, Missouri. He led 8 Reserve Units and 200 personnel in the execution of a $4.3M reserve budget and 12, 309 operational support days around the world. His command earned the Personnel Programs Excellence Award, Blue H Gold Award, and was recognized for the best Armed Watchstander program across the Reserve Force two years straight.

In 2017, CDR Griffin reported to the National Defense University. He currently serves as the Director, Reserve Component National Security Course. Commander Griffin’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Navy Commendation Medal (3 awards), Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal(2), Navy Achievement Medal, and numerous other unit and campaign awards.