United States Air Force Academy

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Commander Andrew Gerla


Department of Military & Strategic Studies

CDR Gerla
Contact Information

(719) 333-3547



Commander Gerla is a native of Washington State and enlisted in the Navy in October of 1999. Following recruit training in Great Lakes, IL, and nuclear “A” school in Charleston, SC, he earned a NROTC scholarship to Washington State University. He graduated and received his commission in 2006.

Commander Gerla’s Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) assignments include a tour as the anti-submarine warfare officer (ASWO) aboard the USS Chafee (DDG 90), homeported in Pearl Harbor, HI, and as a Mission Commander for Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron Four (MSRON 4), homeported in Portsmouth, VA. He has operationally deployed three times in the Western Pacific as well as conducted numerous waterborne security missions throughout North and Central America.

Commander Gerla’s shore tours include Executive Officer (XO) for Transient Personnel Unit (TPU) Puget Sound; Flag Aide to Rear Admiral Annie B. Andrews, Commander, Navy Recruiting Command (CNRC); Commanding Officer (CO) of Honolulu Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS); Deputy Director of Manpower and Personnel (Deputy N1) for Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC). As the Honolulu MEPS Commander, CDR Gerla was responsible for all Department of Defense military accessions in the state of Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau. CDR Gerla’s most recent staff tour was at the 4-star Combatant Command, US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) in Tampa, FL, where he served as the Director of Naval Manpower and Personnel as well as the Executive Officer (XO) for SOCOM’s Navy Element.

Commander Gerla redesignated into the Human Resources community in 2013. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the City University of Seattle, and is a graduate of JPME Phase 1 through the Air Command and Staff College. CDR Gerla graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, in March, 2022, with a Master’s Degree in National Strategy and Security Studies. CDR Gerla has been designated a Joint-Qualified Officer (JQO).


Undergrad – Education (WSU)

Masters – MBA (City U of Seattle)

Masters – National Security and Strategic Studies (NWC)

Fellow – Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies

Professional Experience

U.S. Naval War College (student) – Rhode Island

XO of Naval Element, USSOCOM – Florida

N1 Deputy Director, Pacific Submarines – Hawaii

Commander, Honolulu MEPS – Hawaii

Flag Aide, Commander of Naval Recruiting – Tennessee

Team OIC, Expeditionary Waterborne Security – Virginia

Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer – USS CHAFEE (DDG 90) – Hawaii

XO – TPU Puget Sound – Washington State

Prior Enlisted – Electrician’s Mate 3rd Class – South Carolina

Research and Scholarly Interests

Pacific Strategy

Grand Strategy

Future Warfighting (Quantum, Space, AI, etc)

Human Performance Motivators