New Commander Logged
1,000 Shipboard Landings

UTICA, NY, May 23, 2011 -- Christopher Urban, the new commander of Utica Post 229, spent 20 years on active duty as a naval aviator, logging more than 1,000 shipboard landings as a helicopter pilot.

Retiring as a U.S. Navy commander in 2000, his naval career highlights include:


  • Christopher Urban
    flying assault, search-and-rescue and airlift helicopters (UH-1N Iroquois, CH-46D Sea Knight, and CH-53E Super Stallion).
  • serving over two years as ship’s company (ship driver) aboard USS Saipan.
  • serving as a faculty member at U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, teaching computer science, seamanship, navigation, and shiphandling.
  • serving as chief information officer (CIO) and faculty member at Naval War College.
  • serving as commanding officer of Navy Recruiting in the six New England States.
  • being named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer (CPO) by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy.

He met his wife, Christine Chapman Urban, aboard the USNS Sirius Combat Stores Ship, where he spent a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea with a detachment of two CH-46D helicopters. She was a Maine Maritime Academy graduate and Merchant Marine Officer working for Military Sealift Command as ship's third officer.

 Urban, who is currently a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at SUNYIT, grew up in Whitesboro, attended Sacred Heart School and graduated from Notre Dame High School. He went on to graduate from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and then obtain an MS in Computer Information Systems from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and an MA in National Security and Strategic Affairs from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

The Urbans have two children, Cathy, who graduated in May from Villanova University with a BS in Nursing and was commissioned as a U.S. Navy ensign, and John, who will enter his senior year at Villanova and who also hopes to join the Navy after graduation.

In addition to his military and academic pursuits, Urban has a wide range of interests, from hiking¸camping, fishing and target shooting to gardening, home brewing and bee keeping (currently keeping five hives in his backyard).