Lieutenant Commander Rebekah Fleming, U.S. Navy

2023 U.S. Missile Defender of the Year

LCDR Fleming is a native of Angelica, New York. She graduated from the University of Rochester, where she commissioned from the Naval ROTC program with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in May 2013. She completed her first department head tour as a Weapons Officer aboard USS CARNEY (DDG 64), where she is currently serving as a Combat Systems Officer.

CARNY’s success while deployed to the C5F area of operations is no secret due to the efforts of LCDR Rebekah Fleming. She is devoted to the command’s success whether it is downing Houthi Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Land Attack Cruise Missiles (LACM) in the Red Sea, training junior officers, or ably guiding the ship through BMDEX certification. She will continue to develop future teams in the areas of Integrated Air and Missile Defense.

As a Tactical Action Officer (TAO) LCDR Fleming had the watch during multiple of CARNEY’s Red Sea engagements. She can claim credit for a total of five UAS/LACM kills utilizing five SM-2s and 24 rounds of HE-MMFF ammunition. Her actions have contributed to the overall safety of shipping in the Red Sea and Bab Al Mandeb Strait while ensuring the safety of CARNEY and her crew.

When not TAO, she has selflessly contributed to the fight by serving as the TAO’s right hand for off-ship communications. Feeding the ever-increasing demand for information, she manned chat rooms and VOSIP phones to allow the on-watch TAO to focus on the tactical situation and not be distracted making reports off-ship. These actions further contributed to CARNEY’s 36 total UAS and LACM kills as of 16 Dec.

LCDR Fleming was one of the key planners for CARNEY’s SWATT in the Spring 2023. SWATT was combined with a Live Fire with a Purpose event, during which she served as TAO for the successful intercept of a sub-sonic target drone. Little did we know then that she was setting the stage for CARNEY’s future 36 successful engagements in the Red Sea.

CARNEY’s success in the Red Sea is well known at this point, but LCDR Fleming’s role in setting the groundwork for that success is only beginning to become known. Now close to three months into deployment, LCDR Fleming is a tireless advocate for continued vigilance and watchstander proficiency.

Defenders of the Year