banner image


Commander, Naval Air Forces > HELANTISUBRON ELEVEN > xobio
A native of Wilmington Ohio, Commander Stephen Merritt graduated from Ohio State University in 1997. He was designated as a Naval Aviator in March 1999 and was assigned to HS-10 in San Diego, CA for fleet replacement training in the SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk helicopter.

Upon completion of his training, Commander Merritt reported to the “Red Lions” of HS-15 and deployed twice on the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

In September 2003, he was assigned to HS-10 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot. He served as the Standardization Officer and the Assistant Officer in Charge of the squadron’s sea operations detachment conduction Expanded Maritime Interception Operations in the Philippines.

His next operational assignment was as a Department Head with the “Tridents” of HS-3 where he served as the Administration Officer and Operations Officer. During this tour, the “Tridents” became the first East Coast HS squadron to transition from the SH-60F/HH-60H to the MH-60S, Block IIIB Armed Helicopter.

Commander Merritt’s staff tours include Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic as the Assistant Aviation Operations Officer for rotary wing and Commander, Navy Personnel Command as the rotary wing Shore Assignments Officer.

Following his tour with the Navy Personnel Command, Commander Merritt became the liaison officer for Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U. S. Atlantic Fleet to Commander, Fifth Fleet in Bahrain. His most recent tour was with the “Island Knights” of HSC-25 in Guam, where he served as the Executive Officer and oversaw the first FDNF three helicopter detachment supporting the BONHOMME RICHARD Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG).

Commander Merritt has accumulated over 3000 flight hours in the H-60. His awards and decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), along with various unit and campaign ribbons.

Commanding Officer  |  Executive Officer  |  Command Master Chief