Adm. William “Bill” E. Gortney ’77 to be sworn in as NORAD commander

Gortney, who will be sworn in at a Dec. 5 ceremony, was nominated for the post this summer by President Barack Obama.

Adm. William “Bill” E. Gortney ’77, who for the past two years has led the U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, will officially assume command of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) during a Dec. 5 Change of Command Ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

President Barack Obama nominated Gortney for the post on June 24. He will replace Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr.

Gortney entered the Navy as an aviation officer candidate shortly after graduating from Elon with degrees in history and political science in 1977. He received his commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve in September of that year, earned his wings of gold in December 1978 and graduated from the Naval War College in 1996 with a master’s degree in international security affairs.

He has served in a variety of command positions afloat and ashore throughout his career, including director of the joint staff for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2010 to 2012. He has received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star, four Legion of Merit awards and three Meritorious Service Medals, among others, for his outstanding service to the U.S. military. In 2011 Gortney returned to his alma mater to deliver the university’s 121st Commencement address and was named the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by the Office of Alumni Engagement.

Below are recent media reports associated with Gortney’s latest appointment: