Fryburg Native Faller Nominated to Head US Southern Command

| August 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced recently that Fryburg native Navy Vice Adm. Craig Faller will be nominated to succeed Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd as the next head of U.S. Southern Command.

The announcement was made to members of a Chilean government delegation before the signing ceremony for an agreement on cyber cooperation with Chilean Defense Minister Alberto Espina.

The nomination, which was publicly announced later Thursday in Washington, still requires confirmation by the Senate. If confirmed, Faller would become a four-star admiral, a swift rise from having only two-stars as of January of last year.

Craig Faller is the son of Henry Faller, who served in the Army at Ft. Belvoir, Va. in the early 1960’s, and the late Audrey Faller, who worked as a teacher of the gifted at Clarion Limestone School. Henry and Audrey Faller also ran Faller Funeral Home in Fryburg prior to their nephew Adam Faller taking over.

Vice Adm. Faller graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 and earned his Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering. He earned his master’s in national security affairs (strategic planning) from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1990.

At sea, he served in many positions over a number of years, including as reactor electrical division officer, electrical officer, and reactor training assistant aboard USS South Carolina; operations officer aboard USS Peterson; station officer aboard USS Enterprise, and executive officer of USS John Hancock.

As the commanding officer of USS Stethem, he deployed to the Arabian Gulf where he participated in maritime interception operations in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq. During his tour as commanding officer of USS Shiloh, he assisted victims of the devastating tsunami off Indonesia. Finally, as commander, Carrier Strike Group 3, he deployed to the Middle East supporting Operations New Dawn in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Ashore, Faller’s career continued to develop. He was assigned to chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy; served as deputy chief of naval operations (Plans, Policy and Operations); served as a legislative fellow on the staff of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy; served as head of Surface Nuclear Officer Programs and Placement at Navy Personnel Command and served as executive assistant to the Chief of naval operations. He also served as commander, Navy Recruiting Command; as executive assistant to the commander, U.S. Pacific Command and commander, U.S. Central Command; and as director of operations, U.S. Central Command.

Faller assumed his most recent duty as senior military assistant to the secretary of defense in January 2017. Defense Secretary Mattis chose Faller as his military assistant only days after being sworn in as secretary. In that position, Faller has served as the principal military advisor and assistant to the secretary of defense.

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