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Naval Submarine School
Captain Aaron M. Thieme, USN
Commanding Officer, Naval Submarine School

Command Officer

Captain Aaron M. Thieme grew up in Denver, Colo., earned a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1992, and was commissioned through the NROTC program.

Following nuclear power and submarine training, CAPT Thieme was assigned to USS Georgia (SSBN 729) Blue Crew from 1993 to 1996, where he qualified in submarines and completed five strategic deterrent patrols.

His next assignment was as Combat Systems Officer on USS Toledo (SSN 769) from 1999 to 2002. During this tour he deployed twice, once to the North Atlantic Ocean and once to the Mediterranean Sea. Following this tour, CAPT Thieme successfully completed the Royal Navy Submarine Command Course (Perisher) on HMS Tireless and HMS Sceptre.

As Executive Officer on USS Annapolis (SSN 760) from 2005 to 2006, CAPT Thieme completed a deployment to the Indian Ocean in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He commanded USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) from 2008 to 2011, taking the ship through an Engineered Overhaul and change of homeport to Guam.

CAPT Thieme's other assignments include duty as Deputy Commander for Training for COMSUBRON Four from 2011 to 2013, Operations Officer from COMSUBDEVRON Twelve from 2002 to 2004 and duty as an NROTC instructor at the University of Mississippi from 1996 to 1998. CAPT Thieme most recently served as the COMSUBLANT Prospective Commanding Officer Instructor.

His graduate degrees are in Higher Education from the University of Mississippi, and in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

CAPT Thieme's personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal. He also proudly wears unit citations and campaign service ribbons earned by the outstanding crews with whom he has been privileged to serve.

CAPT Thieme assumed command of Naval Submarine School on December 18, 2015.

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Commander Philip P. Castellano, USN
Executive Officer, Naval Submarine School

Executive Officer

Cmdr. Philip Castellano, a native of Tampa, Florida, graduated from Jacksonville University with a Bachelor of Science in Physics (with honors) and received his commission through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program in 2000. He completed Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina; Propulsion Prototype at Ballston Spa, New York; and the Submarine Officer Basic Course in Groton, Connecticut. He earned a master's degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I through the Air Command and Staff College.

At sea, he served as chemistry and radiological controls officer and as communications officer aboard USS Asheville (SSN 758), completing a western Pacific deployment conducting two missions vital to national security; as submarine operations officer for the John C. Stennis Strike Group and as navigator and operations officer aboard USS Georgia (SSGN 729) (Gold), while assigned to Destroyer Squadron 21, completing two deployments in support of the struggle against violent extremism and earning the Battle "E" award; and as executive officer of USS Pasadena (SSN 752), completing a western Pacific deployment conducting three missions vital to national security and earning the Personnel "P" for outstanding readiness.

Ashore, Castellano served at the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JFCC-ISR), a component of U.S. Strategic Command in Washington, D.C., as an operations lead in the Special Access Program Division and as the deputy of the Modeling and Simulations Branch.

He assumed duties as executive officer of Naval Submarine School in September 2017.

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CMDCM (SS) Eric J. Murphy, USN
Command Master Chief, Naval Submarine School

Command Master Chief

Master Chief Murphy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Navy in 1992 and completed Basic Recruit Training at Recruit Training Command (RTC), San Diego, California, followed by Interior Communications Electrician "A" School in San Diego. He then attended Basic Enlisted Submarine School (BESS) in Groton, Connecticut.

He reported for his first assignment to USS Providence (SSN-719) in April 1993. While assigned to Providence, he completed two EUCOM deployments.

In December 1996, he reported to Performance Monitoring Team New London as a NAVSEA inspector of Oxygen Generators and Steering and Diving systems. Following this assignment, he was converted to Navigation Electronics Technician and reported to USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720).

From November 1999 to March 2003, Murphy was assigned as the navigation leading petty officer (LPO). He completed two six-month deployments in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and was advanced to the rank of Chief Petty Officer in September 2002.

In April 2003 he reported to Submarine Squadron Fifteen Performance Monitoring Team in Guam.

In April 2006, Murphy transferred to the USS North Carolina (SSN-777) as the 3M Coordinator. While there, he qualified and then served as the Assistant Navigator, was advanced to Senior Chief in 2009 and completed qualifications as Chief of the Boat.

He reported to USS New Mexico (SSN-779) in July 2009 as the Chief of the Boat where he successfully completed a shortened build cycle and the associated trials and testing. Murphy was advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer in 2012 and received the Naval Submarine League Frank Lister Award for outstanding leadership as the Chief of the Boat.

In November 2012 he graduated the Senior Enlisted Academy and reported to Naval Submarine Support Facility where he served as the Command Master Chief. In June 2015 he reported to USS Virginia (SSN-774) for his second tour as Chief of the Boat and completed a EUCOM deployment.

In February 2017, he transferred to Naval Submarine School as the Command Master Chief.

Master Chief Murphy is entitled to wear the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (six awards), Good Conduct Medal (seven awards) and various unit and campaign awards.

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