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Home : Media : Biographies

CDR Dustin R. Cunningham, USN

Navy Experimental Diving Unit, Commanding Officer

Commander Cunningham hails from Cambridge, Ohio.  He was commissioned in 2006 from the United States Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Mechanical Engineer’s degree from Naval Postgraduate School, in addition to a Master’s Degree in Defense Technology and Systems from the National University of Singapore.  CDR Cunningham is a qualified Engineering Duty Officer (EDO) and Diving Officer.

CDR Cunningham qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard USS Mitscher (DDG 57) while serving as Communications Officer and Strike Warfare Officer from June 2006 to October 2008.  During this tour, he executed is option for re-designation as an Engineering Duty Officer, and received orders to Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) for his graduate studies.  Following NPS, CDR Cunningham attended the Marine Engineering Diving Officer (MEDO) Course at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center, Panama City, Florida, were he completed training as a Diving Officer.  CDR Cunningham qualified as an Engineering Duty Officer at the Office of the Director of Ocean Engineering, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving, Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Code 00C where he served as Assistant for Salvage from August 2012 to March 2015.  During this tour, CDR Cunningham was also selected from a rigorous process to be a Military Assistant to the 57th Presidential Inauguration, supporting distinguished VIPs and their family members.

Following his time at NAVSEA 00C, he was selected to be the first Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC) for the newly established Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center, Detachment Rota, Spain, overseeing underwater ship husbandry diving operations, and surface ship maintenance and modernization.  In 2018, CDR Cunningham reported to the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, in Bath, Maine as the ZUMWALT Class Test Officer where he led the test and activation programs for DDG’s 1001 and 1002.  Since March 2021, he has been serving as the DDG 51 Program Manager’s Representative, responsible for the DDG 51 portfolio being constructed at Bath Iron Works (BIW).

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and various personal, unit and service awards.  


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