Captain Erich W. Diehl, USN
Professor of Naval Science / Commanding Officer Cornell University NROTC Program
CAPT Diehl is a native of Springfield, Virginia. He was commissioned in 1988 from the NROTC program at Virginia Military Institute.
His sea duty and operational assignments include: USS CHARLES F. ADAMS (DDG 2), where he served as Damage Control Assistant; USS DALE (CG 19) where he served as First Lieutenant and Navigator; Operations Officer in USS GONZALEZ (DDG 66) and USS CAPE ST. GEORGE (CG 71); Executive Officer in USS MCFAUL (DDG 74); and Chief Staff Officer DESTROYER SQUADRON TWO EIGHT (CDS 28).
CAPT Diehl’s operational command tours include Mobile Security Squadron SEVEN home ported in Guam, Mobile Security Squadron TWELVE / Commander Task Group 56.7 forward deployed to CENTCOM, and Commander, Coastal Riverine Group TWO (CRG 2) in Norfolk, Virginia. While in command, his units received commendations for assigned missions during Operations Unified Assistance, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom in both the Pacific and Central Commands. His most recent assignment was as the Commander, Task Force SEVEN FIVE (CTF 75) / Commander, Naval Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific in Guam.
His shore assignments include: U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) assigned to Strategy and Joint Requirements Directorate (J8), Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) assigned to Fleet Requirements (N8) as SEA SHIELD and SEA SHAPING requirements officer, and Director of Fleet Operations for Commander, U.S. SECOND FLEET. Diehl is a 1994 graduate of the Naval Post Graduate School where he received a Master of Science degree in Manpower and Personnel Analysis. He received Joint Professional Military Education (JPME I) from the Air Command and Staff College, and JPME II from Joint Forces Staff College. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit, campaign and service awards. Diehl was presented the Black Beret by the Game Wardens Association and designated as an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy on August 8, 2014.
Marine Officer Instructor / Executive Officer Cornell University NROTC program
Major Blankenship entered the United States Marine Corps in June of 2005. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in History and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in June of 2005. Upon completion of The Basic School, he was assigned as a Logistics Officer. His first assignment was as the Assistant Squadron Logistics Officer with the Marine Wing Support Squadron-371 in Yuma, Arizona. During this tour he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2007 as the Squadron Logistics Officer where he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant. Upon return from Iraq, First Lieutenant Blankenship was assigned as the Motor Transportation Platoon Commander from October 2007 to August of 2008.
First Lieutenant Blankenship’s next assignment was as the Executive Officer, Marine Recruiting Station Fort Worth, Texas beginning September 2008. Serving 18 months as the Recruiting Station Executive Officer and 18 months as the Recruiting Station Operations Officer, he was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2009. He completed his recruiting tour in July of 2011 and subsequently reported to Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Virginia for a period of ten months.
In May of 2012, Captain Blankenship reported to First Battalion, Fifth Marines in Camp Pendleton California as the Battalion Logistics Officer. Serving for a period of 18 months in this billet, he completed a deployment as the Battalion Landing Team Logistics Officer in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit from December 2012 to May 2013. Captain Blankenship was then assigned as the Headquarters and Service Company Commander and completed a deployment in support of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin Australia from April 2014 to October 2014.