As the commander of U.S. Naval Central Command/ U.S. 5th Fleet Admiral Gortney led U.S. and coalition forces, providing direct support to Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF) as well as conducting Maritime Security Operations. It was during his tenure in command that Somali pirates became more active, including the attack on the Motor Vessel (M/V) Maersk-Alabama. He oversaw operations to save Captain Phillips, as well as all U.S. and coalition counter piracy operations in the region.
As the Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10, onboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), he led the carrier, air wing, and ships of the strike group through a high-tempo deployment in support of OIF and OEF. His third command tour in CENTCOM was that of Commander, Carrier Air Wing 7, onboard the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). During this assignment, he personally led combat missions in support of OEF.
Prior to arriving at U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Admiral Gortney served as the Director of the Joint Staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“Admiral Gortney is a true and most valued leader who can be counted on to give an honest assessment of any situation,” said retired Rear Admiral Jim Lair, who has known Admiral Gortney for nearly 30 years. “Bill is a man of tremendous integrity who understands what it takes to get the job done. Highly regarded for his ability to take care of the people under his command, he embodies the values of a true leader.”
Throughout his 30+ years in the Navy, Admiral Gortney has flown over 5,360 mishap-free flight hours and 1,265 carrier-arrested landings. He has earned the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Meritorious Service Medal, among numerous others.
Admiral Gortney graduated from Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. He was an officer of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and a member of the varsity soccer team and the rugby club. He is the son of a retired Navy Captain and a second generation Naval Aviator. Admiral Gortney entered the Navy as an Aviation Officer Candidate; he was commissioned in 1977, and earned his wings of gold in 1978. He worked his way up the ranks, and was promoted to the rank of four-star admiral in September 2012. He currently lives in Norfolk, Va., with his wife, Sherry.
The Greater Dallas Military Ball, held on April 20, 2013, is a black-tie affair, complete with military pageantry, live entertainment and a strong military presence that includes high ranking officers. Military and non-military members of the Greater Dallas and Fort Worth communities come together to salute the troops and their service to our country. Net proceeds from the ball are distributed to military relief agencies.
For more information or to make reservations to attend the 2013 Greater Dallas Military Ball, visit http://dallasmilitaryball.org/
About The Greater Dallas Military Ball:
The Greater Dallas Military Ball is dedicated to honoring active and retired military personnel as well as members of the National Guard, Coast Guard and Reserve forces. It offers a unique opportunity for all citizens and businesses in the area to salute those who are serving, thank those who served and pay tribute to those who make the ultimate sacrifice. In all its activities the organization seeks to promote honor, awareness, and respect for the military community. For more information, visit www.DallasMilitaryBall.org.