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Rear Admiral Lower Half Chad M. Cary

Profile photo of Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Chad Cary

Rear Admiral Lower Half Chad M. Cary

Deputy Director for Operations, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and Deputy Director, NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps

Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
  • OMAO

Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Chad M. Cary serves as the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation's (OMAO) deputy director for operations and deputy director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps). He has proudly served NOAA and the nation for more than 20 years, including nine years of sea time and 11 years of shore time. He has underway command experience aboard NOAA ships Reuben Lasker, Henry B. Bigelow, Nancy Foster and John N. Cobb. As the commanding officer of Reuben Lasker he led a team that conducted operations from Mexico to Canada, utilizing a modern suite of instrumentation to better understand the Eastern North Pacific ecosystem. He has also served as the director of the NOAA Corps' Commissioned Personnel Center and in various assignments with NOAA Fisheries, National Weather Service, and NOAA headquarters.

Rear Adm. Cary is an Alaska native, born in Cordova and raised in Juneau. He earned a bachelor of science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the NOAA Corps. Committed to continuous learning, he holds a master of science degree in geography from Portland State University and a graduate certificate in legislative studies from Georgetown University. He is a also graduate of NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Development Program. During that program, he completed a detail with the U.S. Coast Guard's Office of Cutter Forces, where he helped advance a key NOAA facility initiative and built a partnership alliance with the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy that continues today.

Rear Adm. Cary's notable citations include the NOAA Corps Meritorious Service Medal, a Department of Commerce Gold Medal for hurricane support, and two Department of Commerce Bronze Medals--one for river forecasting during a record flood event in the Pacific Northwest and the other for NOAA Ship John N. Cobb’s outstanding safety record.

Rear Adm. Cary is married and has three children.

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