Commander McNamara was commissioned in 1999 through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps program at Cornell University, where he earned a degree in French Area Studies.
His first assignment was as Electrical Officer of USS Simpson (FFG 56) in Norfolk, Virginia. Other sea assignments include serving as assistant N3 on the staff of Amphibious Squadron 11 in Sasebo, Japan, Chief Engineer of USS Lassen (DDG 82) and USS Shiloh (CG 67) in Yokosuka, Japan, and Executive Officer of USS Monterey (CG 61) in Norfolk, Virginia.
Ashore, Cmdr McNamara earned a master’s degree in Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School and worked in the Department of the Navy Program Information Center at the Pentagon. During that tour he deployed to Iraq and served in the Iraq Training and Assistance Mission. He also served in the U.S. Fleet Forces Command Maritime Operations Center. His most recent assignment was as Commander, Fleet Activities Chinhae in the Republic of Korea.