Cmdr. Aaron Berger
Cmdr. Aaron “Dempsey” Berger a native of Orlando, Florida, was commissioned upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. In 2004 he began his flight training in Pensacola, Florida and earned his “Wings of Gold” January, 2006.
Upon designation as a naval aviator he completed SH-60F/ HH-60H Fleet Replacement Pilot Training at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 10 “Warhawks” in San Diego, California. From 2007 to 2011, he was assigned to HS-3 “Tridents” in Jacksonville, Florida, making deployments aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) to the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility where he supported Operation Enduring Freedom and Counter Piracy Operations with Combined Task Force 151. He also made multiple detachments in support of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief efforts. In 2009, he completed MH-60S transition training when the squadron was re-designated Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 “Tridents”.
In 2011, Berger was nominated to join HSC-2 “Fleet Angels” in Norfolk, Virginia as a Replacement Air Group instructor for the MH-60S. He then reported to U. S. Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and graduated with Class 02-11 as a weapons and tactics instructor. After graduating he held jobs as the Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization evaluator and weapons and tactics instructor. In 2013 he earned a masters in global leadership and business degree from the University of San Diego School of Business. He then joined Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 as helicopter sea combat operations officer, assistant helicopter element coordinator, personnel recovery officer, and flight hours program manager. While at CVW-8 he deployed on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) for the initial operations and support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Berger screened for department head and reported to the “Dragonwhales” of HSC-28 in Norfolk, Virginia in 2016 and held multiple positions deploying as officer in charge of three detachments in support of Naval Special Warfare Group Two and the U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command. He also deployed as officer in charge to the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility where he supported Strike Force NATO. Upon arriving home from deployments he held the positions of admin officer and operations officer.
After his department head tour, Berger reported to Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee as the helicopter sea combat placement officer where he worked on multiple strategies for retention and human capital optimization for the naval aviation enterprise and the helicopter sea combat community. He has accumulated over 2400 flight hours in five aircraft and has additional experience with the unmanned MQ-8B and MQ-8C.
Berger reported as executive officer of HSC-22 in April of 2021 and assumed command in May of 2022.
His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various other personal, unit, and service awards.