Rear Admiral Luke M. McCollum
U.S. Naval Forces Central Vice Commander
A Texas native and son of a WWII veteran, Rear Admiral McCollum is a 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. His first assignment was in Shanghai, China, in a language study abroad program for Mandarin Chinese. He earned his designation as a qualified surface warfare officer in 1985, and holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Systems Management from the University of Maryland, University College.
McCollum assumed duties as Vice Commander and Reserve Deputy Commander, Naval Forces, Central Command, Manama, Bahrain in July 2014. His previous Flag Officer assignments were: Reserve Deputy Director, Maritime Headquarters, U. S. Fleet Forces Command, and Deputy Commander, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command.
He has served at sea on: USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), USS Kinkaid(DD 965) and USS Valley Forge (CG 50) which helped in the establishment of Operation Southern Watchover Southern Iraq and support of Operation Restore Hope in Mogadishu, Somalia. Ashore, he served in the Pentagon as Naval aide to the Chief of Naval Operations.
McCollum’s reserve commanding officer tours included: U. S. Fleet Forces Command, Joint Task Force Unit 300; Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron One where he was mobilized as commander, Task Group 56.5 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom to protect the ports, waterways, and approaches to Kuwait and Iraq; Sealift Logistics Command Far East Detachment 102; Naval Emergency Preparedness Liaison officer (NEPLO) for the State of Arkansas where he helped coordinate the initial response effort for the recovery of the Space Shuttle Columbia; and Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 109.
McCollum is a graduate of CAPSTONE, the Armed Forces Staff College Advanced Joint Professional Military Education curriculum, and the Royal Australian Naval Staff College in Sydney.
McCollum’s military decorations include: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (5 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal (2 awards), and various other campaign medals and ribbons.