|Commander William H. Baxter
Commanding Officer (April 2012 - August 2013)
Commander Will Baxter is a native of Allen, Texas. Upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 1994, he was commissioned an Ensign through the University’s Naval ROTC program.
A Destroyerman at heart, Commander Baxter has served aboard six of the U.S. Navy’s finest combatants. Most recently, Commander Baxter served as Executive Officer of USS PORT ROYAL (CG 73), in which he was part of the team that returned her to fleet service following an unfortunate grounding. Prior to PORT ROYAL, he served as Executive Officer of USS O’KANE (DDG 77) and completed a deployment to the Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf in support of combatant commander’s ballistic missile defense requirements. Previously, he served as Engineer Officer aboard USS YORKTOWN (CG 48), deploying with the WASP Expeditionary Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served as Engineer Officer of USS TAYLOR (FFG 50), completing a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Standing Naval Forces Mediterranean. He completed his division officer tours aboard USS UNDERWOOD (FFG 36) and USS SPRUANCE (DD 963), where in 1996 he completed Surface Warfare Officer Qualification.
Ashore, he served as Surface Second Tour Department Head Assignment Officer at Navy Personnel Command (PERS 41). For his first shore assignment, he served at Texas A&M University’s Naval ROTC Unit as a Naval Science Instructor. While assigned there, he completed a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management. Commander Baxter also holds a Master of Arts from the U.S. Naval War College.
Commander Baxter’s personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (with gold star), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with four gold stars), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (with gold star).