Kurt W. Tidd

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Kurt W. Tidd
ADM Kurt W. Tidd.jpg
Admiral Kurt W. Tidd
Born (1956-03-26) March 26, 1956 (age 64)
Honolulu, Hawaii
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1978–2018
Commands heldUnited States Southern Command
United States Naval Forces Southern Command
United States Fourth Fleet
Carrier Strike Group 8
Middle East Force
Task Force 55
Destroyer Squadron 50
USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968)
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Iraq War
AwardsDefense Distinguished Service Medal (3)
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit (4)
RelationsEmmett Hulcy Tidd (father)
Mark L. Tidd (brother)

Kurt Walter Tidd[1] (born March 26, 1956) is a retired United States Navy admiral. He last served as the Commander, United States Southern Command. Prior to that assignment, Tidd served as Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also served as the Director for Operations, Joint Staff (J-3) from 2012 to 2013, and as Commander, United States Naval Forces Southern Command and United States Fourth Fleet from August 5, 2011 to June 22, 2012. Confirmed by the Senate on December 16, 2015, Tidd received his fourth star and succeeded John F. Kelly as commander of United States Southern Command on January 14, 2016. Tidd holds the title of "Old salt",[2] which means he received his qualification for Surface Warfare before any other active-duty navy officer. Upon the May 30, 2018, retirement of his United States Naval Academy classmate, Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., Tidd also gained the honorific of "Old Goat" – the longest-serving Naval Academy graduate on active duty. Harris presented Tidd with the Old Goat decanter in a ceremony on April 11, 2018.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Tidd was born on March 26, 1956 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[4][5] He is a second-generation surface warfare officer. He is the son of Vice Admiral Emmett H. Tidd, who was the commander of all naval surface forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam War and his brother, Rear Admiral Mark L. Tidd, was the 25th Chief of Navy Chaplains. Tidd grew up in various cities on the East and West coasts before graduating in 1974 from the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, South Carolina. Tidd was commissioned from the United States Naval Academy in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Area Studies.

Naval career[edit]

Tidd was appointed Director of Strategic Capabilities Policy, Defense Policy Directorate in July 2006. He joined the National Security Council staff in March 2005 as Director for Strategy and Defense Issues, Directorate of Combating Terrorism. His responsibilities included developing and coordinating inter-agency policy on countering weapons of mass destruction terrorism, threats to international aviation security, and maritime security policy. From January 2004 to March 2005, Tidd commanded Persian Gulf maritime War on Terror operations as Commander, Middle East Force and Commander Task Force 55.

Tidd was the founding Deputy for Operations on the Chief of Naval Operations War on Terrorism Operations Planning Group Deep Blue. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations (N-3) to Commander, United States Naval Forces Central Command and Commander, United States Fifth Fleet in Manama, Bahrain. He served in NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium as aide to the U.S. Representative, NATO Military Committee. In The Pentagon, he worked on the Navy Staff in the Strategy and Policy Division (N-51), and as the Political-Military Analyst in the Secretary of the Navy's Office of Program Appraisal. Tidd also was the Strategic Planner on the Chief of Naval Operations' Executive Panel (N-00K).

Sea duty assignments include Communications Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant in USS Semmes (DDG-18), Boilers Officer in USS America (CV-66), Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8, and Operations Officer in USS Deyo (DD-989). Tidd was executive officer in USS Leftwich (DD-984), commanding officer, USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968), and Commander, Destroyer Squadron 50.

Tidd holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Bordeaux, France, earned as an Olmsted Foundation Scholar. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, and was a Federal Executive Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is a French linguist and a subspecialist in Strategic Planning and Europe/Russia area studies.

Awards and decorations[edit]

Surface Warfare Officer Insignia.png
Bronze oakleaf-3d.svgBronze oakleaf-3d.svg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg 1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg
1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg1 golden star.svg Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png
Bronze-service-star-3d.pngBronze-service-star-3d.png Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg
Silver star
Legion Honneur Chevalier ribbon.svg U.S. Navy Expert Rifleman Ribbon.svg U.S. Navy Expert Pistol Shot Ribbon.svg
Seal of the United States Southern Command.svg
US - Presidential Service Badge.png
Surface Warfare Officer Pin
Defense Distinguished Service Medal w/ 2 bronze oak leaf cluster Navy Distinguished Service Medal Defense Superior Service Medal
Legion of Merit w/ 3 gold award stars Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal w/ 2 award stars
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ 3 award stars Joint Meritorious Unit Award Navy Unit Commendation with 2 bronze service stars
Navy "E" Ribbon with Battle E device Navy Expeditionary Medal with 2 service stars National Defense Service Medal with 2 service stars
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 service stars Iraq Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with 4 service stars Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with 1 silver service star
National Order of the Legion of Honour (Knight) (France) Navy Expert Rifleman Medal Navy Expert Pistol Shot Medal
United States Southern Command Badge
Presidential Service Badge


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Navy document: "Admiral Kurt W. Tidd".

  1. ^ "Kurt Tidd – Recipient -". valor.militarytimes.com.
  2. ^ Morris, Tyrell (22 June 2015). "Vice Adm. Tidd Receives Surface Navy Association's "Old Salt" Award". U.S. Navy.
  3. ^ Garamone, Jim (11 April 2018). "Pacom's Harris Passes 'Old Goat' Award to Southcom's Tidd". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-07-30. Retrieved 2017-05-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The Olmsted Scholar Program of the George and Carol Olmsted Foundation". The Foundation. January 23, 1991 – via Google Books.
Military offices
Preceded by
John F. Kelly
United States Southern Command
January 14, 2016 – November 26, 2018
Succeeded by
Craig S. Faller