Story Number: NNS140905-02Release Date: 9/5/2014 9:15:00 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Stuart Phillips, Defense Media Activity
ARLINGTON, Va. (NNS) -- The United States Navy promoted Dawn E. Cutler to the rank of rear admiral lower half during a ceremony at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, Sept. 3.
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus spoke about Cutler's past performance as a public affairs officer (PAO) and commended her ability to step into the role as the Navy's acting Chief of Information (CHINFO) on short notice nine months ago.
"She was ready, she didn't take any time to get up to speed," said Mabus. "She knew what she had to do and she had the wealth and breadth and depth of experience that a job like this takes. In fact one of the things that has been noticeable about her career - the people she has served as PAO for ... all went on to get four stars from the time she was their PAO. And she was their PAO usually when they had one star. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to my next job. Because it is clear the only thing those folks had in common was Dawn Cutler."
The 30th Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, spoke on the importance of the role of CHINFO and the responsibilities that come with the title.
"She will be the chief of all Navy information. And in this world of being hyper connected, information is power. And the management of it is the management of power. And if we do this right, we'll get the Navy's narrative right both externally and internally," said Greenert.
Cutler expressed gratitude for her supportive family and spoke fondly of the ideals instilled by her father, a former Sailor.
"He taught me about service to others, selflessness, dedication, that people are important, and treating them with dignity and respect is a must no matter what," said Cutler. "He taught me that being anchored in faith and having a moral compass is essential. Simply put, if you just do the right thing - you'll be just fine."
Retired Rear Adm. Bill Thompson, the first Navy public affairs flag officer, and Lt. j.g. Kat Dransfield, the Navy's newest public affairs officer, placed one-star shoulder boards on Cutler during the promotion ceremony.
Cutler is a native of Portland, Oregon. She is a 1989 graduate of Oregon State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and earned her commission as a General Unrestricted Line Officer through Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps program. She holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
As the U.S. Navy's Chief of Information, Cutler is the principal spokeswoman for the Department of the Navy and provides strategic counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. She leads the Navy's public affairs community consisting of more than 2,500 active and reserve officer, enlisted and civilian communication professionals.