Commanding Officer (CO)

CAPT Dan Gillen, USN

CAPT_Dan_GillenCaptain Gillen was born in Lexington, Kentucky, raised in Rockaway Beach, Queens NY, and moved to Grand Rapids, MI for his final year of high school.  He attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and commissioning through NROTC in 1992.  Over the next 28 years, CAPT Gillen and his family moved 14 times for US Navy assignments.

His first sea duty was the amphibious ship USS MOBILE (LKA 115) in Long Beach, CA, qualifying as a Surface Warfare Officer and a assault boat officer on landing crafts (LCM-8).  After decommissioning MOBILE, the Navy assigned him to the pre-commissioning of the destroyer USS RUSSELL (DDG 59) in Pascagoula, MS.  Once RUSSELL shifted to Hawaii, he deployed for a six month Arabian Gulf deployment with highlights as a boarding team officer for Iraqi UN sanctions enforcement and later a Tomahawk cruise missile strike against Iraq.

For his department head tours, he was assigned as the Chief Engineer on frigate USS DOYLE (FFG 39) in Jacksonville, completing Caribbean counter drug operations deployment, and later to the cruiser USS CAPE ST. GEORGE (CG 71) in Norfolk, completing two Baltic Sea exercises.

For his Executive Officer tour, he served on the cruiser USS SAN JACINTO (CG-56) in Norfolk, deploying to the Arabian Gulf as the Air Defense Commander for the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Carrier Strike Group.

His first command tour, he was Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS McFAUL (DDG 74) in Norfolk.  McFAUL completed an extended nine month deployment due to the attack on the US compound in Benghazi and was the Destroyer Squadron’s 2011 & 2012 Battle Efficiency winner.  For major command, he commanded the cruiser USS HUE CITY (CG 66) in Jacksonville and deployed seven months with the GEORGE HW BUSH Carrier Strike Group
during Operation INHERENT RESOLVE against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

 For his professional education, he attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, CA, completing a Master’s Degree in Management, with a subspecialty of Financial Management and later the Air War College in Montgomery, AL, completing a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies.

CAPT Gillen’s tours ashore include OPNAV N76 Future Ships Program in the Pentagon and US Navy Personnel Command (PERS 41) in Millington, TN.  CAPT Gillen served in the Operations Directorate (J3), US Central Command in Tampa, FL, supporting the start of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE.  For his last shore duty, he served as the Director, Maritime Operations Center, US Fourth Fleet/US Naval Forces South, directing naval operations around the Caribbean, Central and South America.

Executive Officer (XO)

CDR David Cordova, USN

CDR Bickle

Commander David Cordova, a native of Belen, New Mexico, enlisted in the U.S. Navy completing Basic training at Recruit Training Command San Diego, California as an Airman Recruit in 1990.  During his enlisted service, he served as both an Aviation Machinists Mate Naval Aircrewman and Hospital Corpsman holding an NEC as an Aviation Physiology Instructor.  Selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program in 1999, he earned a Bachelor degree in Human Physiology and Kinesiology and commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) at the University of Colorado in 2001.  He is also a 2009 graduate of the University of South Carolina where he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in International Finance.  

Commander Cordova was designated a Naval Flight Officer after earning his Wings of Gold in 2003.  His operational flying tours include Patrol Squadron 8 (VP-8) “Fighting Tigers” based out of Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine.  While at VP-8 serving as a Combat Aircrew Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander, he completed three Arabian Gulf, Horn of Africa and Western Pacific deployments in support of the Global War on Terror and Operation Unified Assistance participating in Indonesian tsunami humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.  His Operational Department Head tour was with the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron 26 (VP-26) based out of Jacksonville, Florida.  While in VP-26 he served as the Administrative Officer, Tactics Officer, Officer-In-Charge Detachment Misawa, Japan and Maintenance Officer completing two deployments to both the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AOR’s in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve.  

Additional operational tours include; Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Fifty (VRC-50) “Foo Dogs” during his enlisted service based out of Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Philippines and operated from Kadena, Japan and Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.  During this tour, he competed three Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf Deployments in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer “Shooter” aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) home ported out of San Diego, California where he served as Air Department Fuels Division Officer, Catapult and Arresting Gear Officer and the “TOP CAT” where he completed two more deployments to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet AORs supporting Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn; USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75) as the ships Safety Officer, home ported out of Norfolk, Virginia, where he deployed to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet AORs supporting Dynamic Force Employment tasking and Operation Freedom Sentinel. 

Commander Cordova also served overseas with Commander Task Force Fifty Seven (CTF-57) in Manama, Bahrain as the Current Operations Officer and Tactical Operations Center Officer-In-Charge, responsible for all Joint and Allied Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft flight missions and coordinated tasking directly supporting Theater and Fleet Commanders during Operations Inherent Resolve and Decisive Shield.  His other shore assignments include; Aviation Survival Training Center, Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii where he served as an Aviation Physiology and Water Survival Instructor; the University of South Carolina, NROTC Unit as a Naval Science Instructor and Air Warfare Officer; Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida as the Air Operations Officer where he managed all airfield operations, oversaw a $92 million dollar runway re-construction project, served as the Emergency Operations Center Director and Aviation Safety Officer.  In August 2021, he reported to the Jacksonville University NROTC Unit as the Executive Officer.

Commander Cordova has operated in every geographic combatant command region, logged more than 3,500 flight hours, holds several shipboard and aircraft qualifications and instructed at university and military institutions.  His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (4), Navy Achievement Medal (3) and various other unit and service awards.

Marine Officer Instructor (MOI)

Capt Joseph Butterfield, USMC

  • Telephone number  (904) 256-7489
  • Email address

MOI_ButterfieldCaptain Butterfield is from Gulfport, Mississippi. He entered the Marine Corps in May 2009 as a Marine reservist and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. He was commissioned in 2013 through the Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Class after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in History from Mississippi State University.

After graduating from The Basic School he served as a tactics instructor at Officer Candidate School while awaiting orders to the Public Affairs Qualification Course at the Defense Information School. Upon graduation he reported for duty in November 2015 to III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.

During his time with III MEF he served as the Director of Public Affairs for 1st Marine Aircraft Wing and 3d Marine Logistics Group. He participated in numerous exercises and exchange programs in Thailand, Nepal, Japan, Philippines, and other locations throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

Capt. Butterfield deployed to Manila, Philippines from Jan – June 2018 where he served as the Public Affairs liaison for all Department of Defense activities within the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.

Capt. Butterfield’s previous assignment was Communication Strategy and Operations Officer with Headquarters Marine Corps, Communication Directorate. During his time at HQMC he served as the Communication Strategy advisor for the Deputy Commandants for Installation & Logistics, Plans, Policies, and Operations, and Aviation.

Capt. Butterfield currently serves as the Marine Officer Instructor for Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Unit, Jacksonville University.

He holds a BA in History (magna cum laude) from Mississippi State University, and a graduate degree (with distinction) in Strategic Communication from Liberty University. He holds two additional Military Occupational Specialties - 0510, Basic Information Operations Staff Officer and 4505 - Communication Strategy and Operations Planner.

His personal awards include Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

Junior/Senior AdvisorTelephone numbe

LT Jorge Vega, USN

Sophomore Advisor

LT Nicholas Moyle, USN

Freshman Advisor

LT Samantha Brown, USN


GySgt Noe Ahumada-Barron, USMC

Supply & Logistics

LSC Candice Lewis, USN

Admin Office

  • Jacksonville University NROTC
  • 2800 University Blvd N
  • Jacksonville, FL 32211
  • Telephone number  (904) 256-7480
  • Fax number  (904) 256-7499 (Fax)