Captain Gadala “Rick” Kratzer is from Fort Lauderdale, FL. He enlisted in the Navy in 1988. He completed the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) in 1992. He received his commission in 1996 through the NROTC program at the University of San Diego, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics. He graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in 2005 with a Master’s Degree in Operations Research and a Master’s Degree in Defense Systems Technology from the National University of Singapore. He has completed both JPME I and JPME II certifications at NPS and at the Joint Forces Staff College, respectively.
Afloat, CAPT Kratzer’s assignments include: Pre-Commissioning Unit/USS MIAMI (SSN-755) as a Second Class Petty Officer; USS REUBEN JAMES (FFG-57) as both Auxiliaries and Electrical Officer; USS HEWITT (DD-966) as Operations Officer; Pre-Commissioning Unit/USS PREBLE (DDG-88) as Engineer Officer; USS GRIDLEY (DDG-101) as Executive and Commanding Officer. CAPT Kratzer’s crew in USS GRIDLEY earned him recognition as the Navy’s Epictetus Leadership Award recipient for 2013; Carrier Strike Group FIVE/Commander, Task Force SEVEN ZERO as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans.
Ashore, he served as Chief, Naval Forces Branch, Chief, C4I Systems, and Continuity of Operations (COOP) Action Officer at United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea; Mobility and Readiness Officer (N71) on the staff of the Commander, Naval Surface Forces; Surface Operations Officer on the staff of the Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group ONE. CAPT Kratzer completed an Individual Augmentation assignment as Electronic Warfare Officer to Multi-National Forces-West Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi FREEDOM in February 2008; Commander, Task Force FIVE SIX/Navy Expeditionary Combat Forces Central as Deputy Commander and Chief Staff Officer.
His most recent assignment was as Commander, Task Force Shore Battle Space and Officer-in-Charge, Navy Region Europe, Africa Central Detachment Bahrain.
CAPT Kratzer’s awards include the Legion of Merit; Bronze star; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards); Navy Commendation Medal (5 awards); Joint Service Achievement Medal; Navy Achievement Medal; Army Achievement Medal and various unit and service awards.
CAPT Kratzer is married to the former Alicia Muldez of the Philippines.