Executive Officer HSM 71

CDR Paul Will 

Commanding Officer | Executive Officer | Command Master Chief

Executive Officer  

Commander Paul D. Will of Berlin, Pennsylvania graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and was commissioned an Ensign in May 1997. 

After his commissioning, Commander Will reported to Pensacola, Florida for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1999.

Following Fleet Replacement training in the SH-60B Seahawk, he reported onboard his first fleet assignment, the Saberhawks of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR SEVEN (HSL-47) at NAS North Island and was part of the first HSL detachment to deploy onboard an aircraft carrier.  While assigned to HSL-47, Commander Will served as the Operations Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Quality Assurance Officer while completing two deployments to the Arabian Gulf onboard the USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64). 

Commander Will’s second fleet assignment was as an SH-60B Instructor Pilot at Fleet Replacement Squadron, HSL-41.  He also served as Schedules Officer, Curriculum Officer, and as the Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization Evaluator for Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. 

In February 2006, he reported to the USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) as the Assistant Navigator where he was named the 2007 Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Ship Handler of the Year and the 2007 Naval Helicopter Association Shipboard Pilot of the Year.  During this tour, he earned an Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.    

In June 2008, following transition training for the MH-60R Seahawk, he reported to the Spartans of HSM-70 in Jacksonville, Florida.  As a Plankowner, he served as the squadron’s Maintenance Officer and Operations Officer.  Prior to his transfer, he was awarded HSM-70 Officer of the Year. 

Commander Will was assigned to the Pentagon in support of the Joint Staff, J-34, Antiterrorism/Force Protection division in June 2010.  During this tour, he served as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Director for Antiterrorism/Homeland Defense.

Immediately following this tour he graduated from the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia in 2012.  CDR Will reported to HSM-71 in February 2014 as the Executive Officer.

CDR Will has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours.  His awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (four awards with Combat Distinguishing Device), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards), and various unit commendations, service and campaign awards.