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Capt. Neil Colston

Assistant Chief of Naval Research

Capt. Neil Colston, a native of Spring Branch, Texas, graduated from Southwest Texas State University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He holds a Master of Science in international studies from the Naval War College and a Master of Science in engineering management from Old Dominion University.

Colston’s early operational assignments include serving as main propulsion assistant and damage control assistant onboard the USS Philadelphia (SSN 690). The USS Philadelphia deployed twice and earned two Battle “E” awards during Colston’s time onboard. He then served as engineer officer onboard the USS Kentucky (SSBN 737) (Blue) and conducted five strategic deterrence patrols. Finally, Colston served as executive officer onboard the USS Helena (SSN 725), conducting a 24-month Engineered Overhaul and deploying to the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.

For his command tour, Colston commanded the USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) from 2015 through 2018. During his tour, he led the ship on a six-month deployment to the North Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea in the U.S. European Command Area of Responsibility, where the ship earned a Meritorious Unit Citation.

Colston’s shore tours include Trident Training Facility Bangor; engineer of Submarine Squadron Two; the Naval War College; commander, Fifth Fleet submarine staff; and the Office of Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, in support of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters. He recently served as executive assistant to the Chief of Naval Research and is now assigned as the Assistant Chief of Naval Research.

Colston’s personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and two Meritorious Service Medals.

Updated: October 2021