Commander Will M. Mathis
Executive Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron FIFTEEN
Commander Will Mathis is a native of Houston, TX and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering while graduating with distinction as a Trident Scholar. Following commissioning, he attended the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In August 2004 he was designated a Naval Aviator in Meridian, MS.
CDR Mathis completed F/A-18E Super Hornet initial training with VFA-122 and joined the “Royal Maces” of VFA-27 forward deployed to Atsugi, Japan in April 2005. During his initial sea tour with VFA-27 he held the positions of Schedules Officer, Line Division Officer, NATOPS Officer, Air-to-Air Weapons Training Officer and Assistant Operations Officer. He deployed multiple times with the Maces onboard USS KITTYHAWK (CV 63), throughout all areas of the western Pacific and was awarded the Daedalian Exceptional Pilot Award.
Following his junior officer tour in 2008, Commander Mathis was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, MD and graduated as a member of Class 135. His test tour with the “Salty Dogs” of VX-23 primarily focused on F/A-18A-F and E/A-18G Carrier Suitability issues and included the initial carrier suitability testing of the X-47 UCAS.
In January of 2011, he reported to the “War Party” of VFA-87 as a department head. While with VFA-87 he held the positions of Safety Officer, Administrative Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Operations Officer, participating in the maiden deployment of USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN 77) supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and NEW DAWN.
Reporting next to Headquarters U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, he served as a Political and Military Planner in the Plans Division of the EUCOM Plans and Operations Center (ECJ35) where he served specifically in the Special Operations Branch (J3X) for 22 months.
CDR Mathis has over 2400 mishap free flight hours and over 600 carrier arrested landings and is authorized to wear the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), as well as various unit and campaign awards. He is married to the former Ms. Christina Vick of Houston, TX and has one daughter and two sons.