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CAPT Knittig

Captain Richard Knittig graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Culver-Stockton College in 1987 and subsequently earned a Master of Biology degree from Saint Louis University in 1989. He was commissioned in the Naval Reserve through the Health Professions Scholarship Program in 1990 and attended medical school at the University of Missouri. He graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Frank and Ena Hickerson Rhoads Medical Scholarship.

Captain Knittig was assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA for his Transitional Internship and the University of Missouri for his Obstetrics/Gynecologic Residency. During that time, he also served as a staff physician and operating room division head for Fleet Hospital 500. Upon graduation in 1998, he served consecutive department head tours at Charleston Naval Hospital, SC and U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy.

Following selection for residency in Aerospace Medicine, Captain Knittig earned a Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2004. He completed his advanced aeromedical training and subsequently served as a clinical consultant at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, FL. He reported to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as the Senior Medical Officer in July 2007, where he deployed with Carrier Strike Group Eight in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During his tour, the Health Services Department was awarded consecutive Medical Force Protection Blue “M” awards for medical excellence.

Captain Knittig reported to Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL in July 2009 where he served on the Board of Directors as Director of Surgical Services, followed by Interim Executive Officer. Knittig reported to U.S. Naval Branch Health Clinic Bahrain in January 2012 where he served as Officer in Charge and provided direct support to the U.S. Fifth Fleet and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command. He reported to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy in February 2014 and served as the Chairman, Medical Executive Committee. Captain Knittig went on to serve as Executive Officer of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan from July 2016 to June 2018. He returned to U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy in July 2018 to serve as Commanding Officer of the largest naval hospital in Europe.

His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit medals and ribbons.

CAPT Stephens was born at Naval Hospital, Beaufort, SC. He enlisted in the Navy in 1984 and completed Boot Camp and Basic Hospital Corpsman "A" School in 1985. His enlisted assignments included Naval Hospital, Newport, R.I. USS SAMPSON (DDG10), Naval Hospital Beaufort, SC, and Naval Medical Center San Diego, CA.

He is a 1993 Distinguished Graduate of San Diego State University where he was a member of the ETA SIGMA GAMMA Honor Society. He is also a 1997 graduate of the University of San Diego where he earned a Masters Business Administration (Healthcare Administration) degree. In 1996, he was commissioned into the Medical Service Corps by Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret) onboard USS JOHN PAUL JONES (DDG-53).

His first tour of duty as an officer was at U.S, Naval Hospital Okinawa, Japan where he served as the Assistant Department Head of the Material Management Department and Department Head for the Operating Management Department. He briefly deployed with USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3) as Medical Administrative Officer.

From 2000-2003, he served as the Medical Administration, Radiation Health Officer, and Division Officer in USS CARL VINSON (CVN-70) where the Medical Department participated in the initial phases of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. The Medical Department also earned three consecutive Blue "M" awards for medical excellence. His leadership as Radiation Health Officer led to the CVN-70 Radiation Health Division achieving "Above Average" ratings on three Operational Reactor Safeguard Examinations. During this tour, he was nominated for "Admiral Zumwalt Award for Visionary Leadership", and the American Academy of Medical Administrators named him the "2002 Young Healthcare Executive."

From 2003 to 2005, he served as the Individual Augmentation, Hospital Ship, and Casualty Receiving and Treatment Ship Platform Manager for the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He also served as the Action Officer deploying personnel to the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting missions to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Korea.

From 2005-2007, he served as the Director for Administration for the 3D Dental Battalion/USNDC Okinawa where he led his Directorate in providing $31 million in care to 38,000 beneficiaries across seven clinics on Okinawa, Japan and Hawaii. During this tour, he was named the "2006-2007 National Register's Who's Who in Executives and Professionals."

From 2007-2010, he served as Director for Administration at the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, MD and led a military and civilian staff of 55 personnel in 64 functional areas to 12,000 beneficiaries of 50 tenant commands and was responsible for a $400,000 budget and $10M worth of clinic facility upgrades.

From August 2010 to June 2013, he became the 8th Officer-in-Charge of the David R. Ray Health Center, Naval Station Everett, Washington where he led 126 Sailors, Civilians, and Contractors to a Level-3 Patient Centered Medical Home Certification while developing a "Warm Handoff" patient call-relay system for central scheduling that was ultimately adopted command-wide. These efforts reduced purchased care and emergency room visits by 56 percent per year.

He was most recently the Deputy Chief of Staff, M1, Manpower /Personnel for Navy Medicine East where he developed, analyzed, and coordinated the Total Force Manpower Program for Navy Medicine East and its 20 Military Treatment Facilities.

His operational deployments have been in support of OCEAN VENTURE, Operation UNITED AMERICAS (UNITAS XXIX), Special Operations Capable Exercise (SOCEX) in support of USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3), WESTPAC 01, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, TANDEM THRUST, and Korean Peninsula Operations.

CAPT Stephens holds an 1800P subspecialty code and is a Life Member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the Surface Navy Association, the Association of Naval Aviation, and The Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives. He holds the Executive Medicine, Executive Medicine Staff, Credentialed Healthcare Administrator, Medical Department Surface Warfare, Shipboard Assignment, and Medical Regulator Additional Qualifications.


Master Chief Howe is a native of Stoughton Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Central High School in Manchester, New Hampshire and began his naval career at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida in January 1993.

In April 1993, he reported to Nuclear Field 'A' School in Orlando, Florida. Upon completion of 'A' School he was advanced to Petty Officer Third Class. In November 1993 he reported to Nuclear Power School, also in Orlando, Florida. After graduation, he transferred to Ballston Spa, NY for Naval Nuclear Prototype training, where he finished first in his rate and third in his class overall.

After graduation in January 1995, he reported to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Norfolk, Virginia, where he completed two Mediterranean deployments, earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist device, and advanced to Petty Officer Second Class.

In January 1998, he returned to Ballston Spa, NY for Instructor Duty. He was assigned to the S8G Prototype, where he qualified Engineering Watch Supervisor, was selected as the S8G Senior Sailor of the Quarter, and advanced to Petty Officer First Class.

While stationed in New York, Master Chief Howe earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from New School University. He applied and was accepted into the submarine community and reported to the USS Columbus (SSN 762), Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 2001. While on board the Columbus, serving as the Reactor Controls Division Leading Chief Petty Officer (LCPO) he completed two Western Pacific deployments, earned his "Dolphins", and advanced both to Chief Petty Officer and Senior Chief Petty Officer.

In April 2006, Master Chief Howe left the nuclear program and transferred to Naval Submarine Support Command (NSSC) in Bangor, Washington to await a new assignment. While serving at NSSC he qualified as Command Duty Officer, served as a refit coordinator for two SBBN submarines coordinating over 250,000 man hours of maintenance, and coordinated emergency repairs for one Los Angeles Class submarine, allowing her to complete her mission.

In September 2008, now serving as a Surface Electronics Technician, Master Chief Howe reported to the Expeditionary Combat Readiness Center, San Diego for an Individual Augmentee assignment in Iraq. He arrived at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in October, where he served as the Contractor Accountability/Iraqi Based Industrial Zone (IBIZ) LCPO and Operations Department LCPO, participating in numerous Key Leader engagements in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom objectives and managing over 6000 Iraqi, Third Country National, and American Contractors on base.

In May 2009, he returned to San Diego, completed 3M Maintenance School earning his 9517 NEC, and reported to the USS Pinckney to serve as the 3MC. He completed two Western Pacific deployments, was selected for the Command Senior Chief program and advanced to Master Chief Petty Officer in May 2012.

Master Chief Howe served as the Command Master Chief for HSC-22 and of USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81). In January 2018, he reported as the Command Master Chief of U.S. Naval Hospital Naples, Italy.

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