Naval Station Norfolk Welcomes 1st Black Female Commanding Officer

Cmdr. Janet Days receives a meritorious service medal.
Cmdr. Janet Days (left) receives a meritorious service medal from Capt. Adan Cruz, commanding officer of Destroyer squadron 50, right, during a change of command ceremony, April 1, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Will Hardy)

Capt. Janet Days will become the 51st commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk, making her the first Black female to hold the position in the installation’s 106-year history.

A change of command ceremony will be held Friday morning. Days will relieve Capt. David Dees, who will assume duties as the Chief of Staff for Commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

Days graduated from Old Dominion University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in business. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College command and staff diploma. She also is a graduate of Joint and Combined Warfighting School at Joint Forces Staff College and is a qualified joint specialty officer.

Days has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (seven awards), Army Commendation Medal (two awards), Army Achievement Medal, and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Her sea assignments include tours aboard the USS Simon Lake; USS Mahan and USS Forrest Sherman as engineer officer. Additionally, Days completed two deployments, one to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to conduct theater security cooperation and a subsequent deployment to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility to conduct counter-narcotics operations.

Days went on to serve as the Destroyer Squadron 28 material officer and staff director embarked aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, where she completed two deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Days also served as the executive officer and commanding officer of USS McFaul.

A deployment took Days to Kabul, Afghanistan as the Joint Staff, J7 liaison officer to the International Security Assistance Force headquarters.

Following a tour as the executive officer of Surface Warfare Schools Command in Newport, Rhode Island, Days was appointed Naval Station Norfolk’s executive officer in 2021. She is also the first Black female to hold that position.

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