PITTSBURGH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AIR RESERVE STATION, Pa. --
Donald G. Haley, Commander of the Navy Operational Support Center Pittsburgh, retires after 26 years of service on October 31, 2017.
Cmdr. Haley originally enlisted in the Navy as an Electrician’s Mate in 1991 to obtain a college education and see the world. After receiving his commission, he spent time on the submarine force and as a ship driver. The sea life wasn’t for him, however, so he shifted to the expeditionary force. During this time he was introduced to the reserve side of the Navy, and applied to be a navy reserve full time support officer. When his time in the reserves brought him to pick a base for what CDR Haley knew would be his final assignment, NOSC Pittsburgh was on his list.
What Cmdr. Haley most enjoyed about his time at NOSC Pittsburgh was the opportunity to work directly with his team.
“You form bonds with people,” said Cmdr. Haley. “I’d say a majority, if not all, of these people are going to be my friends after I get out. And that’s no different than previous jobs, but being able to work side-by-side with people versus just being on the computer with people is a whole different dynamic.”
In his retirement, Cmdr. Haley is looking forward to having more time to focus on hobbies and home projects, as well as starting his next career as the director of Veterans Education and Training Services at Robert Morris University.
“RMU will be gaining a great leader,” said Chief Petty Officer Christopher Degothseir, enlisted leader of NOSC Pittsburgh. "Although he will be missed, I'm sure the Navy will not necessarily be losing him". .Cmdr. Haley loves the Navy, and has already started on a path to get involved with helping veterans and their organizations in the Pittsburgh area.”
Degothseir said he couldn’t have asked for a better commanding officer. He finds CDR Haley to be a compassionate, understanding and an overall great leader. He has especially enjoyed how they’ve had a joint mindset of helping Sailors fix their problems – not just at the local level, but for the force as a whole – so others will not have to go through the same struggles.
What advice would Cmdr. Haley like to leave with his Sailors? Always look for improvement to make your work life simpler, even if the changes you desire are not achievable during your time in that position. His advice to his replacement: don’t let them convert you to a Steelers fan!
“This was the best assignment I have had to date,” said Cmdr. Haley. “The opportunity to coach Sailors while simultaneously interacting with local businesses, non-governmental organizations and government officials is very rewarding.”