Command Master Chief Rathgeber, a native of Toms River, New Jersey, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July 1991 and attended boot camp in Orlando, Florida. He received a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University in June 2010. He is a specialist in submarine warfare.
At sea, he served as a member of torpedo division and performed duties as the deck division leading petty officer aboard USS Miami (SSN 755), deploying to the Mediterranean, North Atlantic, and U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM); qualified as diving officer of the watch aboard USS Memphis (SSN 691), where he deployed to the North Atlantic and was selected as the 2001 Sailor of the Year for USS Memphis and Submarine Development Squadron (SUBDEVRON) 12; and qualified as pilot aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Virginia (SSN 774), where he was selected for chief petty officer in 2003. He also served as the torpedo division leading chief petty officer (LCPO) aboard USS Alexandria (SSN 757), where he completed a one-of-kind western pacific deployment, transiting the Arctic Ocean as part of an around-the-world deployment; and as the torpedo/lockout chamber LCPO aboard USS Florida (SSGN 728), completing a guided-missile submarine deployment cycle in 2010 and qualifying as Chief of the Boat (COB) in 2011.
As COB of USS Toledo (SSN 769), he deployed to the USCENTCOM area of responsibility, and USS Toledo was recognized with the SUBDEVRON 12 Battle “E.” During his COB tour aboard USS Georgia (SSGN 729), he completed a guided-missile submarine deployment cycle, and the crew earned the 2014 Commander, Submarine Squadron (COMSUBRON) 16 Battle “E.”
His shore assignments included service as an instructor at Naval Submarine School, Groton, Connecticut; Naval Submarine Support Center Kings Bay, Georgia; and COMSUBRON 16 as the weapons assistant and dry deck shelter /lockout chamber LCPO.
After selection for command master chief (CMC) in 2015, he first served with COMSUBRON 20 as the CMC.
Rathgeber reported as CMC, Trident Training Facility Kings Bay in July 2018.
Rathgeber’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (nine awards) and other various unit awards. He was awarded the Naval Submarine League Frank A. Lister Award for exceptional leadership in 2014.
Last Updated: 21 December 2020