Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) hosted its annual Veterans Day event in its Campus Center gym at 529 Academy Way, Knoxville, Thursday, Nov. 9. The keynote speaker was U.S. Navy Capt. David McAlister, a CAK Class of 1989 alumni.
McAlister reported to Naval Personnel Command as Civil Engineer Corps head detailer in May 2016. Previously, he served as Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Public Works Officer.
A native of Knoxville, he was commissioned in 1995 through Officer Candidate School upon graduation from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in civil engineering. He earned a Masters of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies from Naval War College in 2012.
Early assignments included Public Works Department in Adak, Alaska; Alfa Company/Training Department of Amphibious Construction Battalion TWO; Officer in Charge of Construction Battalion Unit 402; assistant Public works officer for Navy Region Hawaii; Aide to the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific Division/3rd Naval Construction Brigade and as a plank owner of 1st Naval Construction Division.
McAlister served as future operations officer for I Marine Expeditionary Force Engineer Group (MEG) during combat operations, program manager for the White House Military Office and as Operations Officer for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5, completing deployments to Iraq as Commander of Task Force Sierra in direct support of multiple Joint Special Operations Task Forces and to Kuwait in direct support of Coalition Forces Land Component Command.
He served as Operations officer for 13th Naval Construction Regiment with oversight of tactical and construction operations in the Pacific Theater and in direct support of Multi-National Force-West throughout Iraq’s Al Anbar Province. McAlister supported the deputy chief of Naval Operations (Fleet Readiness and Logistics), Shore Readiness Division (OPNAV N46) and commander, Naval Installations Command (CNIC) as the Military Construction Program manager. He served as Commanding Officer of NMCB 74, completing deployments in support of PACOM, EUCOM, AFRICOM, CENTCOM, NORTHCOM and SOCOM prior to decommissioning the unit on July 25, 2014.
McAlister is qualified as a Seabee Combat Warfare and Fleet Marine Force officer, a professional engineer in Hawaii, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps and a LEED-accredited professional. He also is certified as joint qualified officer, contracting Level III and facilities engineering Level II. His personal decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medals, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medals and various unit and campaign awards.