Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne is tipped to be the next Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy with the retirement of the current Commander Admiral Piyal De Silva this week. Currently, Ulugetenne serves as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Ulugetenne is an old boy of Royal College, Colombo and he enlisted in the Sri Lanka Navy as an Officer Cadet in the 13th intake in 1985 undergoing basic training at the Naval and Maritime Academy. He graduated from the Joint Services Command and Staff College has followed the Advanced Command Staff Course gaining psc(j) and thereafter gained a Masters of Arts in defence studies from the King’s College London. He went on to gain a master’s degree in maritime policy from the University of Wollongong and an MPhil in defence and strategic studies from the University of Madras.
On completion of his basic training at the Naval and Maritime Academy, he was commissioned as an Acting Sub Lieutenant in January 1987. In 1988, he completed the Sub Lieutenant Technical Course in India and specialized in gunnery having attended the Indian Navy Gunnery School in Kochi.
Having held several sea and shore commands, including the command of Long Patrol Boats, Fast Attack Crafts, Landing Crafts, Fast Gun, and Fast Missile Vessels. He has held several senior positions in the navy. These include Deputy Director Naval (Projects and Plans), Commanding Officer – 4th Fast Attack Flotilla, Director Naval Weapons, Director Naval Intelligence, Deputy Area Commander (North), Director General Services, Commander Southern Naval Area and Commandant Volunteer Naval Force.
He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in June 2015. He was appointed Chief of Staff of the Navy in May 2019. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Staff, he was serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Commander Western Naval Area.
His decorations include Rana Sura Padakkama twice for gallantry; Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya and Uttama Seva Padakkama for meritorious service. Other medals he has gained over the years include the Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal, the Sri Lanka Navy 50th Anniversary Medal, the 50th Independence Anniversary Commemoration Medal, the North and East Operations Medal, the Purna Bhumi Padakkama, the Desha Putra Sammanaya, the Vadamarachchi Operation Medal and the Riviresa Campaign Services Medal.