Commanding Officer, Afloat Training Group Mayport
Commander Adam M. Aycock graduated from Warren County High School, spent a year at Vanderbilt University, and then headed to the United States Naval Academy (“94!”) where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Oceanography and his commission in the United States Navy. After commissioning, the freshly minted Ensign Aycock headed to the vast Western Pacific, taking orders to Forward Deployed Naval Forces warships USS RODNEY M. DAVIS (FFG 60), as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer, Damage Control Assistant, Chief Engineer, and Communications Officer, and USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53), as Assistant Operations Officer.
A well-seasoned Fleet Lieutenant, he rolled directly back to sea and took orders to stateside warships as the Operations Officer in both USS STETHEM (DDG 63) and USS PRINCETON (CG 59). He finally went ashore and reported to the Naval Bureau of Personnel as the assistant SWO Community Manager and the Second Tour Department Head Detailer and then headed to the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College as a student, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Military Studies.
Yearning the feel of a pitching deck and the smell of the salt air, he happily went back to sea to Command the iron crew MCM Crew REAPER, and the great wooden warships USS GLADIATOR (MCM 11), forward deployed to Bahrain, and USS SENTRY (MCM 3), homeported in Ingleside, TX. Grudgingly, he went ashore again and reported to the Joint Staff, J34 Anti-terrorism/Homeland Defense, as the Maritime SME and the Joint Staff’s MOTR Coordinator and Interagency MOTR COIT member. Concurrently, he attended the Joint Forces Staff College as a student of the Joint & Combined Warfighting School, earning JPME Phase II and ultimately his Joint Qualified Officer designation.
Having paid his dues ashore, he once again headed back to the Fleet and proudly assumed Command of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Aegis Destroyer, USS MAHAN (DDG 72), the fourth U.S. Navy warship to carry the name. The challenges were many, but the stellar Crew met them all with gusto and accomplished many great milestones. Achieving the best DDG scores in over five years, the ship and her Crew completed the Congressionally-mandated Board of Inspection and Survey inspection (INSURV), which is required by all ships in commission every five years. In addition to hosting many dignitaries while in homeport, the ship and her Crew were selected to represent the Fleet at the U.S. Naval Academy for their homecoming. On the return trip, the Crew hosted many family members on a “Tiger Cruise”, during which CDR Aycock’s parents, gold-star aunt and uncle, and Naval Academy sponsor enjoyed a week at-sea getting their sea legs and watching the impressive Crew. Finally, the ship and her Crew deployed to the Mediterranean for their maiden BMD deployment and quickly earned the reputation of being the go-to ship for all things BMD while executing their Defense of Europe and Defense of Israel BMD missions and standing ready as a Tomahawk strike platform. Some of the great ports they visited were Augusta Bay, Italy, Souda Bay, Crete, Naples, Italy, Limassol, Cypress, and Haifa, Israel before pulling into Rhodes, Greece and conducting a most impressive Change of Command Ceremony when, sadly, CDR Aycock was piped ashore once again.
CDR Aycock reported to Afloat Training Group, Mayport as the Commanding Officer, where he was quickly impressed by the Fleet trainers and assessors whose job it is to train and certify primarily the ships homeported in Mayport, FL, but also around the world. Of course, all of this could not have been possible without the love and invaluable support of his bride, Karrie Anne (who grew up the daughter of a Marine Corps Officer), and the selfless sacrifice of his amazing children, Ashleigh Marie (a sophomore in college), Grey McGregor (a sixth-grader), and Ella Elizabeth (not yet walking), of whom CDR Aycock is infinitely proud. (12 moves in 20 years and missing half of the big moments, at least!)
Commander Aycock’s decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with three Gold Stars, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and other campaign and service ribbons.