A native of Naugatuck, Connecticut, upon completion of high school in 1998 Commander Potak enlisted in the United States Navy and later received his commission through the United States Naval Academy. He graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in history and received a master’s degree in defense and strategic studies from the Naval War College in 2021.
His afloat tours include: Executive Officer, USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) from October 2019 to October 2020; Combat Systems Officer, USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) from May 2015 to December 2016; Weapons/Combat Systems Officer, USS Samuel B Roberts (FFG 58) from October 2013 to March 2015; Damage Control Assistant, USS Robert G Bradley (FFG 49) from October 2009 to May 2011; R-Division Officer / Communications Officer / EKMS Manager, USS The Sullivans (DDG 68) from July 2007 to August 2009; and as an Aviation Electronics Technician; Fighter Squadron TWO (VF 2) from April 1999 to June 2000. While afloat, Commander Potak completed four deployments to the C5F, C6F, and C7F areas of responsibility.
Commander Potak’s ashore tours include: Operations Officer, Surface Division TWO ONE from July 2018 to February 2019; Operations Officer, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron TWO from January 2017 to July 2018; and as a Medical Recruiting Officer for Navy Recruiting District Jacksonville from August 2011 to February 2013.
Commander Potak is a Surface Warfare qualified naval officer.
Commander Potak's personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other unit and personal awards.
Last Updated: 3 March 2023