William C. McCool (Commander, USN)
Personal Data: Born September 23, 1961 in
San Diego, California. Married. He enjoys running, mountain biking,
back country hiking/camping, swimming, playing guitar, chess.
Education: Graduated from Coronado High School,
Lubbock, Texas, in 1979; received a bachelor of science degree in
applied science from the US Naval Academy in 1983, a master of
science degree in computer science from the University of Maryland
in 1985, and a master of science degree in aeronautical engineering
from the US Naval Postgraduate School in 1992.
Organizations: U.S. Naval Academy Alumni
Special Honors: Eagle Scout; graduated second
of 1,083 in the Class of 1983 at the US Naval Academy; presented
“Outstanding Student” and “Best DT-II
Thesis” awards as graduate of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School,
Class 101; awarded Navy Commendation Medals (2), Navy Achievement
Medals (2), and various other service awards.
Experience: McCool completed flight training in
August 1986 and was assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare
Squadron 129 at Whidbey Island, Washington, for initial EA-6B
Prowler training. His first operational tour was with Tactical
Electronic Warfare Squadron 133, where he made two deployments
aboard USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) to the Mediterranean Sea, and received
designation as a wing qualified landing signal officer (LSO). In
November 1989, he was selected for the Naval Postgraduate
School/Test Pilot School (TPS) Cooperative Education Program.
After graduating from TPS in June 1992, he worked
as TA-4J and EA-6B test pilot in Flight Systems Department of
Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, Maryland. He
was responsible for the management and conduct of a wide variety of
projects, ranging from airframe fatigue life studies to numerous
avionics upgrades. His primary efforts, however, were dedicated to
flight test of the Advanced Capability (ADVCAP) EA-6B. Following
his Patuxent River tour, McCool returned to Whidbey Island, and was
assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132 aboard USS
ENTERPRISE (CVN-65). He served as Administrative and Operations
Officer with the squadron through their work-up cycle, receiving
notice of NASA selection while embarked on ENTERPRISE for her final
pre-deployment at-sea period.
McCool had over 2,800 hours flight experience in 24 aircraft and
over 400 carrier arrestments.
NASA Experience: Selected by NASA in April
1996, McCool reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996.
He completed two years of training and evaluation, and is qualified
for flight assignment as a pilot. Initially assigned to the
Computer Support Branch, McCool also served as Technical Assistant
to the Director of Flight Crew Operations, and worked Shuttle
cockpit upgrade issues for the Astronaut Office.