CAPT MICHAEL C. SPARKS
Commander Coastal Riverine Group Two
Captain Sparks was commissioned in 1988 through the Naval ROTC program at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.
At sea Captain Sparks has served as Ordnance Officer, Operations Officer and Navigator in USS Charleston (LKA 113), Fire Control Officer in USS Deyo (DD 989) and Weapons and Combat Systems Officer in USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62). Captain Sparks took command of USS Dextrous (MCM 13) in 2002. Forward deployed in Manama, Bahrain he took part in mine clearance operations during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His most recent assignment at sea was as Commanding Officer USS Momsen (DDG 92) where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf with the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group. During both command tours, Sparks’ ships were awarded the Battle “E” for operational excellence and the Golden Anchor for retention.
Tours ashore include Navigation and Naval Operations Instructor at NROTC Unit, The Citadel, Surface Department Head Assignment Officer and Sea Coordinator at the Bureau of Naval Personnel (PERS 41) and on the staff of U.S. Fleet Forces Command as the Assistant Sea Shield Pillar Head and Warfare Requirements Action Officer for Surface, Anti-Submarine and Mine Warfare programs in the Warfare Requirements Branch (N80) and Branch Head for Combatant Modernization in the Surface Warfare Directorate (OPNAV N96). He is a designated Joint Specialty Officer and served in a joint duty assignment as the Chief of Strategic Operations Division on the Joint Staff Deputy Directorate for Global Operations (J39). Most recently Captain Sparks served as the Deputy Commander, Coastal Riverine Group TWO.
Captain Sparks’ postgraduate education includes a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University. He is a 2005 graduate of National Defense Universities Joint Advanced Warfighting School where he received a Master’s degree in Joint Campaign Planning and Strategy and he is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI fellow.
Personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), the Navy Commendation Medal (six awards), the Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), the Combat Action Ribbon and a variety of unit and campaign awards.