Commander Herman Cruz grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended the University of Southern California where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. He was commissioned in 1994 and was designated a Naval Aviator in May 1997.
After training at Helicopter Combat Support Squadron THREE (HC-3) in San Diego, California CDR Cruz was qualified an H-46D pilot. In March 1998, he reported to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE (HC-5), Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, deploying to the Pacific Rim and Persian Gulf, on the USNS SPICA (T-AFS 9), USNS NIAGARA FALLS (T-AFS 3) and USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3), flying missions in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and DESERT THUNDER. During his tour, he also served as First Lieutenant Officer, Schedule Writer and Quality Assurance Officer.
In April 2001, CDR Cruz returned to HC-3 for duty as one of the final Fleet Replacement Instructor Pilots in the H-46D and subsequently served as Instructor Pilot in the MH-60S. In addition to Instructor duty, he served as Student Control Officer, Assistant Training Officer, Training Officer and MH-60S NATOPS Evaluator. During his tour, CDR Cruz recieved a Masters Degree in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego. After completing his tour at HC-3, CDR Cruz served as Flag Aide to Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group FIVE (ESG-5).
In July 2005, CDR Cruz reported for his Department Head tour at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE (HSC-25), Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. He deployed as Detachment Officer in Charge on the USS ESSEX (LHD-2) in support of Operation HOPE RENEWAL and qualified as Officer of the Deck. He then served as squadron Administrative Officer and Operations Officer until his transfer to Headquarters U. S. Marine Corps as the Aide de Camp to the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
In August 2009, CDR Cruz reported to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV) Head Naval Aviation Programs (OPNAV N88) where he served as the Aircrew Systems Requirements Officer. During this tour, CDR Cruz also volunteered for a yearlong Individual Augmentation as part of Commander, Joint Interagency Task Force FOUR THIRTY FIVE (CJIATF-435) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
CDR Cruz is married to the former Tanya Marie Bermudes (LCDR JAGC). His personal awards include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3) and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2).