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A native of Long Island, New York, Captain Clifton graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and received a commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC).
Following Surface Warfare Division Officer Course, Captain Clifton reported to USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20) and served as a Communications Division Officer, deploying to the Mediterranean Sea and qualifying as a Surface Warfare Officer. She was a Plankowner on USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) where she served as Flight Deck Ordnance Division Officer and Assistant Weapons Officer, and was selected as the Commander, Naval Air Forces, Atlantic, Shiphandler of the Year. On shore duty, Captain Clifton served as a Company Officer and Instructor at the United States Naval Academy. She completed two afloat Department Head tours including Operations Officer in USS HARPERS FERRY (LSD 49), homeported in Sasebo, Japan as part of the Forward Deployed Naval Forces and Combat Information Center Officer aboard USS BONHOMME RICHARD (LHD 6). She made deployments to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf, supporting combat missions of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.
Captain Clifton served on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, Expeditionary Warfare Directorate (N85), where she led the Seabasing Integration Team and supported the Flag-level Expeditionary Warfare Working Group to assist the Royal Australian Navy in advancing their amphibious warfare capabilities. She was then selected as Officer-in-Charge of Maritime Security Squadron 12, responsible for providing force protection of strategic shipping and deployed naval vessels. Captain Clifton mobilized to Djibouti, Africa to support Combined Joint Task-Horn of Africa as the lead Crisis Action Planner, spearheading the development of contingency plans for Department of Defense support to Department of State. Captain Clifton served as the Executive Officer of Navy Reserve Military Sealift Command (MSC) Headquarters Unit, providing support to MSC Operations and Plans Branch, Commanding Officer of Submarine Force Expeditionary Maintenance Detachment N, where she led Sailors in providing maintenance, material, logistical and administrative support to the Submarine Tenders in Guam, and Commanding Officer, INSURV Support Unit. Following a tour at U.S. Fleet Forces Command as the Navy Contingency Sourcing Officer, she served as OPNAV N32, Branch Head for Plans and Force Management. Captain Clifton now serves as the Commanding Officer of Naval Support Facility (NSF) Deveselu, Romania.
Prior to recall to active duty, Captain Clifton was a Deputy Director (GS-15) in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, developing strategic plans, formulating and executing a $52 million budget, and leading a workforce of over 350 personnel across all 50 states supporting critical infrastructure protection efforts.
Captain Clifton’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), Navy Achievement Medal (five awards) and various other service medals and ribbons. She holds a Master of Science in Leadership and Human Resources from the Naval Postgraduate School, completed JPME II though the Joint Forces Staff College and is a Joint Qualified Officer.
Last Updated: 28 February 2023
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