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Contributed by Mike Smolinski

USS Tortuga (LSD-46)



CDR. Jeffery D. Baker, USN

CDR Baker enlisted in the Navy in 1994 following graduation from Westminster College in Pennsylvania, earning a B.S. degree in Physics. He completed nuclear propulsion training in 1996 and subsequently spent two years as an instructor at NPTU Ballston Spa, NY. He was commissioned through Officer Candidate School in July, 1998. Upon completion of Division Officer School in Newport, R.I., CDR Baker was assigned to USS SHREVEPORT (LPD-12) as the Main Propulsion Officer. He then served his second division officer tour at Assault Craft Unit Two as a detachment OIC and LCU Craftmaster.

Following his division officer tours, he reported to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA. earning a M.S. in Systems Engineering and Analysis. While there he also completed the Naval War College Joint Professional Military Education.

Upon completion of Department Head School, CDR Baker served as the Chief Engineer onboard USS GUNSTON HALL (LSD-44) where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as conducting counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa. Following completion of the PCO training pipeline, CDR Baker assumed command of PC Crew DELTA and USS HURRICANE (PC-3), followed by USS FIREBOLT (PC-10) while forward deployed. During this time, CDR Baker conducted maritime security patrols in the Northern Arabian Gulf and led extensive Theater Security Cooperation missions with Iraqi, Kuwaiti, and UAE naval forces.

Following his early command tour, CDR Baker was assigned to Washington D.C. as a Federal Executive Fellow. While there he worked on U.S. Maritime Strategy within the Defense Studies group at the American Enterprise Institute. Following his fellowship CDR Baker was assigned to COMNAVSURFLANT working on material readiness improvements for Amphibious and Patrol Coastal ships. He then served as Executive Officer of USS COMSTOCK (LSD-45) and upon completion of that tour reported to Engineering Assessments Atlantic as a Senior Assessor for SURFLANT ships.

CDR Bakerís military decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal (6), the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the GWOT Expeditionary and Service Medals, and various other campaign and unit awards.


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