Commanding Officer


Captain Dennis is a fourth-generation Sailor, an Eagle Scout, hails from New Smyrna Beach, Fla. and is a 1989 graduate of Auburn University. Captain Dennis is joining the University of Michigan having recently served as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy. In Sicily Region, he was centrally responsible for the safety, security, operations and conduct of all U.S. forces, employees, and their families as well as all aspects of providing for and maintaining the community. Highlighting Sigonella’s many contributions during Captain Dennis’s tenure was its critical role in the safe evacuation/recovery of U.S. embassy personnel from Tripoli, Libya in July 2014.  

At sea, he has served as the Navigator of USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), highlighted by an early return to operations following mid-life overhaul; a trans-hemispheric home port shift; and a central role in the Haitian Earthquake Relief, Operation Unified Response. Captain Dennis was also Commanding Officer of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light Four Six (HSL-46).  During his command, HSL-46 twice earned awards for Aviation Maintenance Excellence, Retention Excellence, and Air Warfare qualification. In 2008, HSL-46 was awarded the “Battle E” for overall unit excellence.

Captain Dennis has served aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71); USS Nimitz (CNV-68) as Flag Aide for Commander, Carrier Group Seven; USS Elrod (FFG-55) as aviation Officer-in-Charge; USS Simpson (FFG-56); USS Halyburton (FFG0-40); USS Briscoe (DD-977); and USS Wasp (LHD1).

Ashore, Captain Dennis has served as Operations Officer and flight instructor at SH60B Seahawk Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), HSL-40, during which HSL-40 earned the Admiral Ellison Award as the Navy's most productive FRS. In Washington, D.C. he served as the Navy's lead for defining & resourcing Global Broadcast Service wideband and Ultra High Frequency satellite communications. Additionally, he served as Flag Aide to Director, Air Warfare (CNO-N88).  Overseas, Captain Dennis was assigned to European Command as Officer-in-Charge of the Frequency Management Field Office Brussels, Belgium, directly supporting Operations Iraqi/Enduring Freedom and simultaneously serving as an assistant attaché and an U.S. Representative to NATO.

Captain Dennis earned a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Planning with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College (1999).  His economic analysis of the U.S. drug war was published in Defense Technical Information Center. In 2010, he was invited back to the Naval War College as a professor of Strategy and Policy. In addition to lecturing, facilitating graduate seminars, and leading academic panels, Captain Dennis founded the college's Energy Security course.

Captain Dennis's personal awards include the Defense Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards). Captain Dennis is married to Sharyn Falls Dennis of Vienna, Va., and they are proud parents of Nathan, Lauren, and Graham.