Mr. Ray Cerda

Phone: (828) 396-2188


Degrees and Certifications:

M.S.C.J, Appalachian State University

Mr. Ray Cerda

LNCM (Surface Warfare/Seabee Combat Warfare)

Raymond A. Cerda, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

 Master Chief Ray Cerda was born in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Flat Rock High School in 1974 and entered the U.S. Navy in 1978.  He completed basic training at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, FL., and attended Yeoman ‘A’ school, Naval Air Station, Meridian, MS.

Afloat he served with both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.  His operational assignments include duty onboard USS Barbey (FF-1088) and USS South Carolina (CGN-37).  He also served as the sole legal advisor to the Commanding Officer, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion SEVENTY-FOUR (NMCB-74) deployed to Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Sicily and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico as the Battalion Independent Duty Legalman.  He was appointed Legal Officer onboard USS Yellowstone (AD 41) in-theatre in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm during the first Iraq War.

Ashore he served on the staff of Atlantic Fleet Headquarters Support Activity and Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Norfolk, VA.  In 1987 he graduated with honors from the Naval Justice School, Newport, RI, Paralegal and Legal Officer courses and converted to the rating of Legalman.  From 1991 to 1994, he served as Special Assistant to Legal Counsel, Chief of Naval Personnel, Washington DC.  In 1995 he was appointed Senior Enlisted Advisor, Naval Legal Service Office, National Capital.  Master Chief completed his Naval career as Clerk of Court, Chief Judge, Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary, Washington, DC.   While on active duty he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology from St. Leo College, FL.

Master Chief Cerda retired from active duty in 1998.  His civilian employment began with the Massachusetts Institute Technology Research & Engineering (MITRE) Corporation as a Human Resources Generalist liaison, Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) Project and Leadership & Management Department.  He began his Naval Science Instructor position at St. Stephens High School, Hickory, NC., July 2001, until his retirement in 2012.  In 2011 he graduated with a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology from Appalachian State University, Department of Government and Justice Studies.  In 2015 he began teaching at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in the Criminal Justice Department as an Adjunct Faculty on-line instructor.  In 2016 he began working with the Veterans Administration, Compensation & Pension Clinic, assisting veterans filing a disability claim due to a service-connected injury.  He transferred to the Hickory VA Outpatient Clinic as an Advanced Medical Support Assistant in November 2018.

His military decorations include:  Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, Good Conduct (4 awards); Sea Service Ribbon (5 awards); Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist; Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist; Navy Unit Commendation; Southwest Asia Service Medal (2 awards); and Kuwait Liberation Medal.

He is married to the former Karen Massey-Cerda, a K-12 Catawba County career Educator.  He has 4 children, 6 grandchildren and best friend Popeye!