Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Mihai PANAIT, a native of Tițești, Argeș, was born on the 27th of March 1968.

Commissioned in 1991, his first assignments on board ships were as minesweeper operations department head and executive officer.

At squadron and brigade level, he served as operations officer, followed by the same position at brigade level. Upon National Defence University graduation, he was appointed commanding officer, minelayer ”IOAN MURGESCU” (271), chief of staff and deputy commanding officer, MCM squadron. From 2009 to 2013 he served as commanding officer, frigate “REGELE FERDINAND” (221). During his command she took part in multiple operations: Active Endeavour (2010), Unified Protector (2011), Atalanta (2012) operations.

Additionally, PANAIT was a Romanian Task Group commander during its first activation in 2013 and also in 2014 and 2016.

Ashore, he performed duties as EOD and Force Protection operations officer within Naval Operational Component Command, and deputy chief of staff for training, Fleet Command. His next assignment was as chief of staff on the Fleet Command. On December 01, 2017 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral (LH).

Starting 15th of June 2018 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Romanian Naval Forces for Operations and Training.

A surface warfare officer by trade, he graduated from the “Mircea cel Bătrân” Naval Institute in 1991. His post graduation education includes Command Team Training Programme in Den Helder, NLD (2005), Naval Command College in Newport, Rhode Island, USA (2009), Joint Strategic Leadership Course in National Defence University ”Carol I”, Bucharest (2014), Combined Force Maritime Component Commanders Flag Course in Naples, Italy (2017). He also graduated several carrier courses in Romania or abroad in the area of staff duties, units and brigade level command, security and good governance.

Rear Admiral (LH) PANAIT has received during his career various national and international awards and titles, among them “Maritime Virtue” Order – Captain and Knight; "Emblem of Honour" from General Staff, Naval Forces and Air Force; “Honourable Citizen”, Rhode Island State, USA”; „Participant in International Missions”, Operation Unified Protector; “The Common Security and Defence Policy Service” E.U. medal; the Officer of the years 2011 and 2012 - Romanian Navy and Romanian General Staff.

He is married with one daughter.