Gary Tornatore, Captain US Navy (Ret.)

Gary TornatoreGary Tornatore, a graduate of Canastota High School, Class of ’67, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from St. Lawrence University in 1971. Upon completion of the Aviation Officer Candidate Program in Pensacola, FL., he was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy in February 1972 and was designated a Naval Aviator in November 1972.

Gary’s first operational flying tour was with Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 (HM-12). He participated in the clearing of mines from Haiphong Harbor and the coastal waters of North Vietnam. Several subsequent tours of duty in the Navy led to his selection as a helicopter squadron commanding officer and eventual promotion to Captain.

In October 1988, Gary assumed command of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15Tornatore Graduation (HM-15), a sea-going squadron consisting of over 400 personnel and 12 multi-million dollar helicopters, based at Naval Air Station Alameda, California. Follow on tours of duty at sea as the Air Boss on the USS SAIPAN and ashore as the Director of Requirements for Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet capped a successful active duty career spanning 28 years.

Following retirement from active duty in 1999, Gary continued his service to the Navy, attaining the highest civilian Government Service level (GS-15). He currently manages multi-billion dollar operations and maintenance readiness programs and provides assessment and analytical services to the commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, VA. He holds a Master of Arts Degree in Management from Troy State University as well as various technical and managerial certifications.