Randy Cruz was hand selected by the NASA Administrator to be his Senior Advisor in August 2018. As the Senior Advisor, Cruz advises NASA leadership on all matters to include aerospace and aeronautic operations, infrastructure, foreign and legislative affairs, communications, and risk management.
Cruz is a Navy Captain that graduated with merit from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Systems Engineering. After commissioning, CAPT Cruz completed flight training in Pensacola, FL and chose to fly the E-2C Hawkeye, earning his wings of gold as a Naval Flight Officer in May 1999.
Cruz has deployed multiple times all over the world and has commanded an aviation squadron to the middle east during a combat deployment. His at-sea assignments include combat deployments on board the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72), USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN 74) and the USS HARRY S TRUMAN (CVN75), in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, INHERENT RESOLVE, and ODYSSEY RESOLVE.
A graduate of TOPGUN and the United States Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), he conducted developmental flight tests and managed numerous avionics and aircraft projects and programs, to include E-2C Foreign Military Sales for Taiwan and Egypt. He orchestrated the Manpower, Facilities, and Training efforts to bring the game changing E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to Initial Operational Capability.
An advanced Weapons and Tactics Instructor at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) senior mission planner in the Persian Gulf theater, and as the Director for Integrated Air and Missile Defense that include Ballistic Missile Defense for deploying Carrier Strike Groups, CAPT Cruz has worked with many operational units, at all levels of the Department of Defense to ensure Fleet combat readiness.
CAPT Cruz has accumulated over 2,900 hours in 20 different aircraft and over 400 carrier arrested landings. His personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Association, Leadership Award, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Strike/Flight Air Medals, four Navy Commendation Medals, two Naval Achievement Medals, and various unit and individual awards.
He has a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee and is completing his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.