Gumataotao is currently serving as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, which is based in Everett, Wash. and includes approximately 6,000 officers and sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), aircraft of Air Wing Eleven, and surface ships and submarines of Destroyer Squadron 23.
"From the onset of my Navy career, I have been blessed with many opportunities. Now that I look back on those days at Father D (FDMS/Father Duenas Memorial High School), it was a bold yet very rewarding decision to leave the island and serve my country. “
More than 30 years since leaving Guam, Gumataotao has taken advantage of the many educational and career-enhancing assignments the Navy has afforded him.
[Rear Adm. Peter A. Gumataotao visits with Sailors on board USS Nimitz (CVN 68) shortly after taking over as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacquelyn Childs]
Gumataotao joined the Navy in 1976, then attended the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, and earned a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College in 1994. He’s also served on several ships and commanded at sea aboard USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Decatur (DDG 73) and served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31.
“I’ve had an amazing ride; visiting places world-wide I could not imagine and meeting people -- some fascinating, others inspiring,” Gumataotao said.
All in all, Gumataotao said those he has served with and worked for have helped him along on this naval journey. He attributes much of his success to their support and trust.
“From day one I was taught to work as a team, which resonates well with our culture of "familia" back home. The Navy is a familia filled with patriots and professionals,” Gumataotao said, adding, “I'm proud to say that AnneMarie, my wife, and I have benefitted from the close-knit relationships of Navy families. I honestly believe we have a welcomed porchlight anywhere there's a sea-port east and west coast.”
During his assignment as Commander, Carrier Strike Group Eleven, Gumataotao, expects to complete an at-sea deployment with the strike group.
"I can't begin to express the feeling of being given this privilege to command at-sea again. It is an honor and an opportunity that I do not take lightly. One thing I can assure you, the men and women that serve under my strike group will be ready to respond to our nation's call. I have reminded them to always "Expect the Unexpected, Be Ready."
Gumataotao takes his position seriously and hopes to encourage others as he has been encouraged.
“If I can share some straight-forward advice to anyone looking for direction -- pursue higher education, strive to do your best in everything you do, hold true to your values no matter what the consequences, and always treat others the way you want to be treated."]