VADM Edward Moore Jr. CAPT Dallas Bethea CAPT William L. Snyder
RADM William D. Sullivan CAPT William R. Mason CAPT Paul S. Holmes
CAPT Charles B. Dixon CAPT John J. Sorce CAPT Terry Mosher
CAPT Holly Graf CAPT Robert Marin

Captain Dallas Bethea
United States Navy
COWPENS' Second Commanding Officer

Captain Bethea was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended school in Los Angeles, California. Enlisting in the Naval Reserve in March 1966 as a selectee in the Reserve Officer Candidate program, he was commissioned in April 1969 after graduation from Officer Candidate School.  He graduated from Santa Monica College and California State University, Northridge.

His first active duty assignment was Naval Beach Group ONE, Western Pacific Detachment, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.  As Assistant Officer-in-Charge of a Beachmaster Detachment deployed to Vietnam, Captain Bethea participated in Operation KEYSTONE CARDINAL, the first major phase of Marine withdrawal from Vietnam.  Following that tour, and after augmentation into the Regular Navy, he served aboard USS BAINBRIDGE (CGN 25), from 1970 to 1974.  During this period, he completed three operational deployments to Vietnam.

Following a two-year tour as Operations and Plans Officer for Commander Destroyer Squadron FIVE in San Diego, Captain Bethea attended Destroyer School in Newport, Rhode Island and was subsequently assigned to USS LEAHY (CG 16), as Operations Officer.  Following a two-year tour aboard LEAHY, he reported to Tactical Training Group, Pacific in San Diego and from 1979 to 1981 taught advanced battle group tactics to senior officers enroute to command.

After completing a two-year tour as Executive Officer of USS WADSWORTH (FFG 9), from 1981 to 1983, Captain Bethea reported to the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, DC.  From 1983 to 1985 he served as Aide to the Director, Naval Warfare (OP 07) and Head, Tactical Training and Wargaming Branch of the Tactical Readiness Division (OP 732).  In June 1986, he graduated from the National War College, Washington, DC.  In December 1986, he assumed command of USS GARY (FFG 51), in Bunbury, Australia.  While in command of GARY, the ship deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation PRAYING MANTIS, and was subsequently awarded two Battle Efficiency Awards and sixteen departmental awards while assigned to Commander, Destroyer Squadron NINE.

After a two-year tour as Head, Surface Commander Assignment Branch at the Bureau of Naval Personnel from 1989 to 1991, he assumed duties as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operation for Navy Program-Planning (OP 08) in March 1991.

During his 23 months in command of USS COWPENS from 1993 to 1995, the ship was deployed twice with the KITTY HAWK Battle Group to the Persian Gulf and Western Pacific, won two Battle Efficiency Awards and the 1994 Spokane Trophy as the top surface warship in the Pacific Fleet based on sustained operational and combat systems excellence.

Following a three year tour as Commanding Officer of Tactical Training Group Pacific in San Diego, Captain Bethea retired in October, 1998 after more than 32 years in the Navy. He and his wife, Gayle, now live in Vienna, Virginia.

Captain Bethea's personal awards include four Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy Commendation Medals and two Navy Achievement Medals.

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