Check us out on Facebook


Hi, I'm Tom Phelan and I want to be your next St. Mary's County Sheriff! 

Having been born and raised in Moraga, CA (the San Francisco Bay Area), my transition to and love for Maryland began at the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.  I graduated from the Academy in 1979, earning a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering.  I met my wife, Donna, in Annapolis and we started our Navy life together after marrying in 1980.  We raised three beautiful children, Mike, Mat, and Sarah, and have since been blessed with three grandsons. 

Throughout my nearly 27 year career with the Navy, I served as the Commanding Officer for four commands (an operational squadron test squadron, Program office and the Test Wing), made six aircraft carrier deployments, served in Operation Desert Storm, completed tours in Washington State and Japan, with several tours at NAS Patuxent River.  In 1988 I completed the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River earning a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. 

Our first tour at the Naval Test Pilot School at NAS Patuxent River brought us to St. Mary's County in 1987.  We knew then that this county would eventually become our forever "home".

After retiring from active duty in February 2006, I traded in my uniform for a new career as a contractor supporting the Department of Defense.  I am currently a Director of one our company’s Operating Units overseeing over 130 personnel and a budget of over $34M. 

With my leadership and management experience in the Navy and as a civilian defense contractor, I can provide a positive influence/impact for our Sheriff's Department. 

I look forward to serving this great county and its citizens.


Captain Thomas P. Phelan, USN (RET)

Captain Thomas P. Phelan was raised in Moraga, California, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979, where he received a BS in Aerospace Engineering.  Designated a Naval Aviator in April 1981, he reported to VA-196 based out of NAS Whidbey Island, WA, flying the A-6E Intruder and made deployments aboard the USS CORAL SEA (CV-43) and USS CONSTELLATION (CV-64).

After selection for the Naval Postgraduate School/Test Pilot School Cooperative Program, he reported to Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.  He then attended the United States Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, MD, graduating in June 1988 with an MS in Aeronautical Engineering.  Captain Phelan then served for two years as an A-6E/EA-6B project officer for carrier suitability testing and as a TPS instructor.

Captain Phelan reported to the VA-115 Eagles based in Atsugi, Japan in December 1990 where he flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm from the USS MIDWAY (CV-41).  While still homeported in Japan, the Eagles moved to the USS INDEPENDENCE (CV-62) and deployed to the Arabian Gulf, conducting the initial missions for Operation Southern Watch.

In November 1992, Captain Phelan reported to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at Patuxent River, MD and served as the head of the A-6E Project Office and the Carrier Suitability Department.

After transitioning to the EA-6B Prowler, Captain Phelan joined the VAQ-140 Patriots in September 1994 and served as their Executive Officer and Commanding Officer until January 1997.  He made two cruises aboard the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73) which included operations over Boznia and Iraq for which the squadron would receive the 1994 Battle ‘E’ award and the 1995 Safety ‘S’ award.

In February 1997, Captain Phelan reported to the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron, Patuxent River, MD and served as their Chief Test Pilot and Commanding Officer until December 1999.  After completing the Advanced Program Manager’s Course at the Defense Systems Management College, he served as the Program Manager for Aircrew Systems, PMA-202 until September 2002.  From September 2002 to October 2005 Captain Phelan served as Commander, Naval Test Wing Atlantic and retired from the U.S. Navy following that tour.  He now works for a Defense Contractor in St. Mary's County.

Captain Phelan’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Individual and Strike/Flight Air Medals and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’.  He has flown over 4500 flight hours and has 1010 carrier landings.



  • United States Naval Academy – 1979
  • United States Navy Test Pilot School – 1988
  • Naval Postgraduate School – 1988
  • St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office – Citizen Academy 2015


  • Leadership Southern Maryland – Class 2015
  • Command Leadership Training – U.S. Navy 1994/2002


Thank you for the following endorsements! 

"Tom, is a great guy, steadfast and true. Could not ask for a better leader!"  - Monica Rauch
"An ethical, friendly and thoughtful leader who cares about the communities, county and the people!" - Eric Mitchell


If you would like to send me an endorsement, fill out the form below:

Required fields are marked with a *

Name *



You can support Tom Phelan for Sheriff in many ways:

  • Join the "Tom Phelan for Sheriff" committee
  • Request a yard sign
  • Get the word out to your friends, family and neighbors
  • Host an event - Meet & Greet to get to know Tom Phelan
  • Contact supporters through your social networks
  • Donate to the campaign
  • Walk in the District for Tom Phelan
  • Raise Contributions - Fund Raising Ideas

Please complete the volunteer form below to be a volunteer and be part of our team!  Thank you!

Required fields are marked with a *

Name *


Thank  you for your visit to this site and your interest in our campaign!

If you have any question or comments, please feel free to contact us filling out the form below.

Friends of Phelan for Sheriff

P. O. Box 262

Hollywood, MD  20636


Required fields marked with an *

Name *