Home / Meet Our Advisory Council: Commander (Ret.) Sean W. Dougherty

Meet Our Advisory Council: Commander (Ret.) Sean W. Dougherty

Commander Dougherty is originally from Quakertown, Pennsylvania and enlisted in the United States Navy in May 1996. Upon completion of Recruit Training in Great Lakes, Ill., he was recognized for his leadership and meritoriously promoted.

After completing Electronics Technician “A” School, a then Petty Officer Dougherty reported to his first operational command USS Greeneville (SSN 772) stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served from 1997-2002. During this tour, he earned his silver “Dolphins” (qualification as Enlisted Submarine Warfare Specialist) and completed two Western Pacific deployments.

Through his hard work and dedication, he was one of a handful of Sailors selected from a highly competitive field to comprise the first class of Seaman to Admiral-21. In March 2002, he reported to Newport, R.I. and began his journey transitioning from enlisted ranks to commissioned officer. Commander Dougherty commissioned as an Ensign from Pennsylvania State University in May 2004, earning a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology.

After completing initial flight training in Pensacola, Fla., Commander Dougherty spent the next two years training before earning his “wings of gold” as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO).  He completed his NFO training at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. in 2006 where he met his best friend, love of his life, and future wife, Kerry Dougherty, nee Pines.

In April 2007, Commander Dougherty reported to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron TWO (VQ-2) in Whidbey Island, Wash. where he served as a Professional Development Officer, Tactics Training Officer, NFO Training Officer, and Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Instructor. During this tour, Commander Dougherty deployed five times in support of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, with another deployment supporting operations in U.S. Southern Command.

After a successful tour with VQ-2, Commander Dougherty was then selected to teach the next wave of naval aviators as an NFO instructor. He reported in February 2010 to Patrol Squadron THIRTY (VP-30), U.S. Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Fleet Replacement Squadron, in Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Along with teaching students in the classroom and aircraft, he served as the VQ NFO Training Officer, VQ NFO NATOPS Officer, and NATOPS Division Officer.

Commander Dougherty’s career path then took him to San Diego in 2013 to be the Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer (Shooter) on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). While serving aboard, he was blessed to lead over 150 officers and enlisted personnel as the V-1 Division Officer, and support the scheduling and training for his fellow Shooters as the top Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer (TOPCAT).

Commander Dougherty was hand-selected to report to Naval Air Station Jacksonville in February 2015 as the Assistant Operations Officer. As acting Operations Officer, he oversaw the airfield’s difficult temporary closure while completing a $52 million aircraft runway project. He was responsible for leading and directing over 200 officers, enlisted, and civilian personnel ensuring the timely establishment of temporary facilities at Cecil Field for the displaced tenant commands.

In July 2016, Commander Dougherty did not have to go far for his Department Head tour with Patrol Squadron FOUR FIVE (VP-45) at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. During this tour, he was VP-45’s Command Services Officer, Safety/NATOPS Officer, Administration Officer, and the Operations Officer. Commander Dougherty deployed twice in support of Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet, Commander U.S. Seventh Fleet, and Commander U.S. Fourth Fleet operations.

Commander Dougherty started a new adventure with NAVAIR at Patuxent River, Md. in February 2019. Here he supported the Maritime Patrol community as the P-8’s Aircraft Systems Integrated Program Team Lead. He was responsible for leading 167 military, government, and contractor personnel across five product teams developing budgets and contracts, while coordinating the procurement and delivery of the P-8 and its aircraft systems.

In February 2022, Commander Dougherty reported to his last command in the United States Navy as Head of the Safety Department aboard USS Dwight D Eisenhower (CVN 69) stationed in Norfolk, Va. He was responsible for the implementation and execution of 17 Navy Occupational Safety and Health programs, ensuring the safety of more than 3,000 officer and enlisted Sailors during IKE’s Chief of Naval Operations Planned Incremental Availability.

Commander Dougherty has operated in every geographic combatant command throughout his 27-year military career. He has logged over 2,400 flight hours in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal Strike/Flight (6), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (5), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (5), along with other personal and unit awards.

Commander Dougherty and his wife, Kerry, returned to Jacksonville, Fla. following their retirement from military service with their two kids, Logan and Madison.

Sean now has the privilege of serving the military community through VyStar Credit Union as their Vice President and Military Liaison.  In addition, he is currently serving on the USO Florida Region Advisory Council, US Constitution Scholarship Foundation, Clay County Military Appreciation Committee, Jacksonville Rotary Club, and most recently the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Centerstone Advisory Council.

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