A native of Freehold, New Jersey, Tom graduated from Carnegie Mellon University on an NROTC scholarship with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and was commissioned an Ensign in 1996. He earned a Master of (Civil) Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2005.
Early assignments include Engineering Division Officer onboard USS INDEPENDENCE (CV 62), home-ported in Yokosuka, Japan, Navigator/Administrative Officer onboard USS SHILOH (CG 67), Officer Recruiter in Navy Recruiting District New York, Planning & Programming Officer for Naval District Washington, where he also served on the BRAC 2005 team, and Resident Officer in Charge of Construction at Naval Activity Puerto Rico. Following Graduate School, his assignments included Program Analyst in the Assessment Division (N81), Chief of Naval Operations staff, with follow-on duty as Flag Aide and Deputy Executive Assistant to the DCNO, Fleet Readiness & Logistics (OPNAV N4), Operations Officer at Naval Facilities Expeditionary Logistics Center, Training Officer and Detachment Officer In Charge, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion THREE, during which he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, Naval Construction Forces Liaison Officer to US Naval Forces, Central Command in Manama, Bahrain, Assistant Operations Officer, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Southwest Asia, and Public Works Officer, Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy.
Captain Bestafka served as Force Civil Engineer, Naval Special Warfare Command prior to reporting to NAVFAC Southeast. As the Executive Officer, he leads an 1,800-employee organization delivering $2 Billion/year in facility management, construction, utilities, and related services across 17 Navy bases located in 8 Southeastern states and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Bestafka is a qualified Seabee Combat Warfare and Surface Warfare Officer, a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Michigan, a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, and a Level III-certified Contracting Officer. His personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (5), the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4), the Army Commendation Medal, the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2), and various unit and campaign awards.