Commander Nicholas A. Willet
Commander Willet, a native of Westminster, Maryland, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in September 2004.
Following initial FRS training, Commander Willet reported to the BOUNTY HUNTERS of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO (VFA-2) and deployed twice aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) and ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). While assigned to VFA-2, he served as the Schedules Officer, Assistant Line Division Officer, NATOPS Officer, Mission Planning Officer, EKMS Custodian, and as the Air to Ground Weapons and Tactics Officer.
Commander Willet was selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in Fallon, Nevada to become a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI). Following TOPGUN, he returned to VFA-122 in December 2008 as the FRS SFTI and served as the Intelligence Officer, Mission Planning Officer, Fighter Weapons Phase Head, and Detachment Coordinator. He was VFA-122’s Instructor Weapons Systems Officer of the Year for 2010 and performed with the VFA-122 Demonstration Team for the 2010 air show season.
Following instructor duty, Commander Willet returned to sea in January 2011 as the Training Officer with the BLACK ACES of Strike Fighter Squadron FOUR ONE (VFA-41). During this time, Commander Willet made two eight-month deployments to support Operations NEW DAWN (OND) and ENDURING FREEDOM aboard the USS JOHN C STENNIS (CVN-74).
After his Training Officer tour, Commander Willet reported to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California in December 2012. In 2014, he graduated from NPS, earning a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs with a concentration in Europe and Eurasia and earning his JPME Phase I credit.
Commander Willet reported to the BLACK KNIGHTS of Strike Fighter Squadron ONE FIVE FOUR (VFA-154) in Lemoore, California in October 2014 for his Department Head tour. He served as the Safety Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and Operations Officer and prepared the squadron for their upcoming deployment to support Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (OIR).
Following his Department Head Tour, Commander Willet reported to the Joint Staff, J-7 Directorate, serving as Executive Assistant for the Vice Director for Joint Force Development and as an Action Officer in the Joint Professional Military Education Division.
Commander Willet has accumulated over 2,700 flight hours and 600 arrested landings in the F/A-18F Super Hornet. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (two awards), the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and various other medals, unit and campaign awards.