Commander Mark E. Zematis is a native of Barkhamsted, Connecticut. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering. Additionally, he holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Commander Zematis reported to his initial operational assignment with the “MAD FOXES” of Patrol Squadron FIVE. Designated an Instructor Pilot and Mission Commander he deployed twice to SIXTH Fleet in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He finished his tour as the Pilot Training Officer and was selected as the MAD FOXES’ 2005 Pilot of the Year.
Subsequent operational tours included Flag Lieutenant to Commander, Carrier Strike Group NINE, and a Department Head tour in Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN. As Flag Lieutenant embarked in the USS LINCOLN, he qualified as a Tactical Flag Command Center (TFCC) Watch Officer. As a Department Head he completed a SIXTH Fleet deployment and finished the tour as the Operations Officer. During this tour he was awarded the Association of Naval Aviation’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
Commander Zematis’ shore assignments included FRS Instructor Duty in Patrol Squadron THIRTY where he served as the Fleet NATOPS Division Officer, and staff tours in US Pacific Command’s Operations Directorate (J-3) as the Deputy Chief of the Joint Reconnaissance Center and the Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N98) as the Deputy Executive Assistant to the Director.
In his career Commander Zematis has accumulated over 2300 flight hours and has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (4), Joint Service Achievement Medal (2), Navy Achievement Medal (2), and various campaign and unit awards.