Captain Jesse H. Black, a native of South Florida, enlisted in the Navy as an electronics technician in 1990 and graduated from the naval nuclear training pipeline in 1992. He served as a reactor operator aboard USS Bainbridge (CGN 25) from 1992 to 1995.
Black graduated from the University of Idaho in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering, with a focus on hydrodynamic power design and environmental engineering. He earned a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2007, publishing his thesis on solid state power systems.
As an officer, Black served four years aboard USS Cape St. George (CG 71), serving in a variety of engineering tours, including electrical officer, main propulsion assistant, and assistant chief engineer. He earned his surface warfare officer (SWO) designation, and after two years was selected to fleet up as the combat information center officer. During the surge deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he also assumed the duties of the navigator.
Returning to his engineering roots, Black was selected for lateral transfer to the engineering duty officer community. As an EDO, he has served in multiple staff, engineering, maintenance, and program executive office roles including Program Executive Office for Aircraft Carriers, the Naval Systems Engineering & Logistics directorate at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA 05), at the Norfolk and Portsmouth Naval Shipyards, and the DDG 1000 Program Office.
During these highly technical assignments, Black led teams tasked with solving complex engineering challenges such as Gerald R. Ford-class advanced weapons elevators, nuclear refueling complex overhauls and maintenance availabilities, and integrated power and propulsion systems on Zumwalt-class destroyers and Columbia-class submarines. He also served as the technical warrant holder and program manager for the conditions-based maintenance of surface combatants and large deck amphibious ships.
Additionally, he was specially selected to serve in the White House as a senior sustainability officer under two presidential administrations.
He became the executive officer of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory on June 25, 2021. He is responsible for managing day-to-day activities at the laboratory, such as maintenance and logistics.
Black’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), and the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).
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