Rear Admiral Couture is a native of Vineland, New Jersey. She commissioned through the NROTC program at the George Washington University in 1995 and she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. She holds a Master’s degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University, and she completed her Joint Professional Military Education as a student of the U.S. Naval War College and the Joint Forces Staff College.
At sea, Couture served onboard USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Saipan (LHA 2) USS Elrod (FFG 55), USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55), and USS Porter (DDG 78). She commanded USS Kauffman (FFG 59) and Destroyer Squadron 28 where she deployed twice as the Sea Combat Commander with Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. She has deployed in support of Operations Joint Endeavor, Active Endeavor, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.
Ashore, Couture served as Current Surface Operations Officer for the Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Flag Secretary to the Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic; Contingency Plans Officer, U.S. Joint Forces Command; and, Assistant Chief of Staff for Manning, Manpower, and Personnel (N1) for the Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic. Couture also served as a Federal Executive Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and as Special Assistant for Legislative Matters to the Chief of Naval Personnel.
Her most recent assignment prior to Naval Service Training Command was as the Director for the Commander’s Action Group, for the Commander, Naval Surface Force Atlantic.
She has earned numerous personal awards including the Legion of Merit
(second award) as well as various other personal, unit, and service awards.
She assumed command of NSTC on May 27, 2021.
Mr. Chris Stallings, born at Fort Benning, Georgia, lived in a variety of locations throughout the United States as a military dependent. He commissioned as an Army Aviation Officer through the Army ROTC program at North Georgia College in 1995 and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Commercial Marketing and Business Management. In 2021 he concluded his active-duty career at the rank of Colonel after over 26 years of service. He holds a Masters degree in Management Technologies from Murray State University, Masters of Science in National Security and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College, and Masters of Science in Strategic Studies from the United States Marine Corps War College.
Mr. Stallings served in numerous staff positions in the Army and commanded from the platoon level through brigade command including commandant Recruiting and Retention College, US Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Kentucky; executive assistant to the Director for Operations Joint Staff, Arlington, Virginia; operations officer for Global Force Management J35 Joint Staff, Arlington, Virginia; commander of 1-222nd Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Brigade, Fort Eustis, Virginia; department chair and professor of military science Duke University, United States Army Cadet Command Durham, North Carolina; 7-101st Aviation Regiment Task Force operations officer, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade,101st Airborne Division Air Assault, Fort Campbell, Kentucky; deputy J3 aviation operations officer, Combined Joint Task Force 101, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault; company commander Delta Company 7-101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault; executive officer, Bravo Company 8-101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault; executive officer, Charlie Company, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 17th Aviation Brigade, Eighth US Army Camp Humphreys South Korea; executive officer, Alpha Company 8-101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault; platoon leader, Alpha Company 8-101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division Air Assault. Mr. Stallings deployed in two operational deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and two operational deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Following retirement from active duty, Mr. Stallings entered federal civil service in February 2022, in his current assignment as executive director, Naval Service Training Command.
Captain Cower enlisted in the Navy in 1994 and attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School, Newport, R.I., prior to appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. In August 2000, Captain Cower reported to Navy Recruiting District Raleigh assigned as a recruiter and as the Enlisted Programs Officer. In November 2003, Captain Cower reported to Navy Recruiting Orientation Unit where he was assigned as Director, Enlisted Navy Recruiting Orientation, instructor and inspector. In March 2005, he deployed to Iraq assigned to the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq as Officer in Charge, Coalition Support Cell, J-1 in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. In November 2005, Captain Cower was assigned to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Director, Total Force Programming and Manpower Management Division as a manpower requirements officer. In July 2007, Captain Cower reported to Transient Personnel Unit Norfolk where he served as Executive Officer. In November 2007, he deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Executive Officer 1st Brigade, 203rd Corps, Afghan National Army, Embedded Training Team in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In May 2010, Captain Cower assumed command of Tampa Military Entrance Processing Station. While there, his command earned multiple excellence awards for superior performance and efficiency. In November 2012, Captain Cower reported to NRD Jacksonville as Executive Officer and in February 2014 assumed command. While there, NRD Jacksonville earned multiple awards to include the Bronze Recruiting “R” for recruiting excellence. In June 2015, Captain Cower reported to Commander, Navy Recruiting Command assigned as the National Enlisted Programs Officer and later as the Director of Operations and Chief of Staff. In June 2019, Captain Cower assumed command of Navy Manpower Analysis Center. In July 2022, Captain Cower reported to Naval Service Training Command as Chief of Staff. Captain Cower served as the HR Millington Regional Captain and is a member of the HR Community Executive Board.
His professional military education includes the Surface Warfare Officer School, Human Resources Advanced Course, College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College and the Joint Forces Staff College. He earned a Master of Business Administration Degree and Master of Science Degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from Pfeiffer University, Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management from Webster University, the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). He earned the Master Training Specialist and Joint Qualified Officer designations.
Captain Cower’s decorations include two awards of the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, two awards of the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, three awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, three awards of the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal and various unit and service medals and ribbons.
Command Master Chief Rick Mengel enlisted in the Navy on 17 November, 1993 and received basic training at Recruit Training Command Orlando, FL.
His first sea tour was aboard USS Camden (AOE 2), PSNS Bremerton, WA, where he served as an Undesignated Seaman and later a Signalman 3rd Class. In February 1998, he cross-rated to Aviation Structural Mechanic and reported to the EA-6B Fleet Replacement Squadron, home of the Vikings of VAQ 129, NAS Whidbey Island, WA.
Subsequent sea tours were served twice with the Zappers of VAQ 130, NAS Whidbey Island, WA, where he qualified as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist while deployed aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
He reported to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, IL in April, 2006 where he served as a Recruit Division Commander and RDC "C” School Instructor and qualified as a Master Training Specialist.
Master Chief Mengel was selected for the Command Senior Chief program in February, 2011 and served with Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Crew Persistent in that capacity aboard six different MCM hulls. Subsequent command tours include Command Master Chief for USS Shoup (DDG 86), Navy Recruiting District Seattle, and USS Nimitz (CVN 68). He is currently the Command Master Chief for Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), Great Lakes, IL.
He is a graduate of the Naval Senior Enlisted Academy, class 147 (Gold Group) and the Command Master Chief/Chief of the Boat class 10701.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (five awards), Good Conduct Medal (eight awards) and various unit awards.