- Speaker Program
In honor of Veterans Day, Commander Pete Firenze ‘97 spoke in Chapel on November 11, 2022, about service to one’s country, telling stories from his days at Belmont Hill and explaining how these moments helped to shape his call to service. In addition to being able to address the students, classmates and faculty were able to visit with Cdr Firenze.
CDR Firenze is the Director, Advanced Programs within the Geospatial Intelligence Systems Acquisitions Directorate at the National Reconnaissance Office. After Belmont Hill, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Naval Architecture and was designated as a Naval Aviator in 2003.
Upon completion of the MH-53E Sea Dragon fleet replacement pilot syllabus, CDR Firenze reported to the Black Stallions of HC-4 aboard NAS Sigonella, Italy in December of 2003. From 2003 to 2007, CDR Firenze participated in various operations throughout the EUCOM and CENTCOM AORs. His service with HC-4 culminated with a combat deployment in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from June 2006 to January 2007. CDR Firenze reported to the Fleet Angels of HSC-2 for transition to the MH-60S Knighthawk. There he served as an Instructor Pilot and the squadron tactics officer. He was responsible for implementing the MH-60S Armed Helicopter Program. Concurrent with this tour, CDR Firenze earned an EMBA from the Naval Postgraduate School. Selected for lateral transfer to the Aerospace Engineering Duty Officer community in 2009, CDR Firenze completed the Space Systems Engineering curriculum and graduated with a Masters of Science in Astronautical Engineering in 2012 from the Naval Postgraduate School CDR Firenze’s acquisition tours include serving as the Program Integration and Execution Branch chief within the Communications Directorate at the NRO; Systems Engineering Class Desk lead at the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program Office; Chief Engineer and Principal Assistant Program Manager for the Navy Communications Satellite Program Office; and as the Deputy Chief Architect for the Geospatial Intelligence Systems Acquisition Directorate at the NRO.