Capt. Harold T. Cole
Capt. Harold T. Cole is a native of Enterprise, Alabama, and a graduate of Auburn University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in History and commission in June 1996, through the Auburn University Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program. Following graduation, he reported to Pensacola, Florida, in July 1996, where he completed cryptologic officer training at Naval Technical Training Center, Corry Station. His first assignment in the community was fleet support division officer at Naval Security Group Activity, Pensacola, from 1997 to 2001, where he was responsible for conducting computer network operations for Navy fleet and shore commands.
Additional assignments included Computer Network Vulnerability Analyst in the Information Assurance Directorate of the National Security Agency, and department head in Naval Security Group Activity, Fort Meade, Maryland, from 2001 to 2005. In 2005, Capt. Cole transferred to USS Enterprise (CVN 65), Norfolk, Virginia, where he served as the ship's information warfare officer and OS division officer. He completed one deployment with the "BIG E" in 2006, to the U.S. 6th, 5th, and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility. Capt. Cole transferred to Navy Information Operations Command Georgia in 2007, where he served as the Joint Operations department head and as the tailored access operations military deputy, leading Sailors working in NSA/CSS Georgia.
His senior leadership and staff assignments include duty on the Chief of Naval Operations Staff (OPNAV) in the Electronic and Cyber Warfare Division (N2N6F3), as assistant branch chief for the Cyber Warfare Branch, Pentagon, Washingon, D.C.; deputy information warfare commander/N39 for Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 11, Everett, Washington, where he deployed aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) to the U.S. Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility; as executive officer of Navy Information Operations Command Georgia; and as executive assistant to the Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. 10th Fleet, Fort Meade, Maryland and most recently as the assistant chief of staff for readiness at Naval Information Forces, Suffolk, Virginia. Capt. Cole currently serves as command officer, Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command and as commander, Task Force 1020.
Capt. Cole's decorations include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy Achievement Medal and various service and campaign awards. He has earned Masters Degrees in Information Assurance from Capitol College, and Strategic Studies from the United States Air Force War College.