Captain Michael Witherspoon is a native of Tuscaloosa, AL. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Machinist Mate Fireman Recruit in October 1986 and was commissioned in 1995 through Officer Candidate School, Pensacola FL as part of the first Seaman- to-Admiral Program. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Systems Engineering from Norfolk State University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategy from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI.
His enlisted assignments include the USS McKEE (AS 41) and Navy Recruiting District (NRD) St. Louis. His officer and at sea assignments include Electronic Warfare Officer aboard USS KIDD (DDG 993), Auxiliaries and Electrical Officer (A&E) in USS MERRIMACK (AO 179), Main Propulsion Assistant (MPA) in USS VELLA GULF (CG 72), Chief Engineer in USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD 44), Commander, Amphibious Squadron TWO (CPR2) serving as Operations Officer (N3), Materials Officer (N4) and Chief Engineer in USS OAK HILL (LSD 51). He served as Executive Officer in Pre-commissioning Detachment and ultimately commissioned the USS GRAVELY (DDG 107). Executive Officer tours in and merger of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron FOUR (MSRON 4), Coastal Riverine Squadron FOUR (CRS 4) Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron TWO (MSRON 2), Coastal Riverine Squadron TWO (CRS 2) and ultimately Commanding Officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron TWO (CRS 2). He deployed in support of numerous wartime and contingency operations to include; OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, OPERATION NOBLE ANVIL, and OPERATIONS ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.
Ashore assignments include Operational Test Director (OTD) at Commander, Operational Test and Evaluations Force, Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Coastal Riverine Group TWO Training and Evaluation Unit (CRG2 TEU), and Future Plans (N51) Future Plans in Military Sealift Command, Norfolk VA.
Witherspoon assumed command of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story on June 25, 2020.
His personal awards include the Navy Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal and various unit and service awards.