Captain David Taft is the Director, Joint Warfare Analysis Center (JWAC). JWAC’s mission is to provide combatant commands, Joint Staff, and other customers with effects-based analysis and precision targeting options for selected networks and nodes in order to carry out the national security and military strategies of the United States during peace, crisis, and war.
Captain Taft, a native of Harpswell, Maine, graduated in 1999 from Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Captain Taft began his naval career at the Officer Candidate School, Pensacola, Florida where he was commissioned an Ensign in 2000. He completed his initial Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) training at the Naval War College while earning his Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University in 2007. Captain Taft graduated the Joint Forces Staff College in 2020.
At sea, he served as a deck division officer aboard USS Essex (LHD 2); auxiliaries officer aboard USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3); navigator aboard USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), and as chief engineer aboard USS Benfold (DDG 65). He served as executive officer aboard USS Patriot (MCM 7), MCM Crew Persistent and MCM Crew Constant, ultimately serving as the commanding officer of MCM Crew Constant, stationed on multiple ships in both Bahrain and San Diego. Most recently, Captain Taft completed tours as the executive officer and commanding officer aboard USS Higgins (DDG 76) where his crew earned the Battle “E”.
His initial shore assignment was at Officer Training Command, Newport, Rhode Island, where he served as the lead class officer, navigation and sea power lead instructor, and safety officer.
Captain Taft next served ashore as a fleet scheduler and fuels officer in the Global Force Management directorate, Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. In 2014, Captain Taft reported to Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC) Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Division as Program Manager for the IAMD Warfare Tactics Instructor (WTI) school, graduating as the Top Tactician in March 2015. Captain Taft’s most recent shore assignment was the Deputy Director of SMWDC IAMD.
Captain Taft’s decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards) and various service and campaign awards.