CDR Rodney C. Erler, Jr
COMMANDING OFFICER VP-8
Commander Rodney Erler is a native of Salem, Oregon. He enlisted in the Navy in October 1995, and graduated from Aviation Machinist Mate (AD) A-school in Millington, TN.
Following Aircrew school in Pensacola, FL, and P-3C Orion Flight Engineer (FE) School in Jacksonville, FL, he reported to NAS Whidbey Island’s Patrol Squadron ONE (Screaming Eagles) in April, 1997. While serving in VP-1, he deployed to Japan and Diego Garcia.
In July 2000, AD2(AW) Erler was one of fifty sailors selected for the Seamen to Admiral Commissioning Program and subsequently reported to Jacksonville University (JU) to complete a Bachelor’s degree. With the Class of 2003, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management. In May 2003, he was commissioned and reported to flight school in Pensacola, FL. Graduating on the Commodore’s List with Distinction, he earned his Wings of Gold in November 2004, in Corpus Christi, TX.
Following Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) training at Patrol Squadron THIRTY (Pro’s Nest), he reported to Patrol Squadron FORTY (Fighting Marlins) in Whidbey Island, WA, in July 2005. While onboard, he served as the Ground Safety Officer, Aircraft Division Officer, and Pilot NATOPS Officer. He completed qualifications as Functional Check Flight Pilot, Patrol Plane Commander, Mission Commander and Instructor Pilot while deploying to Japan (ISO Operation Enduring Freedom), Iraq (ISO Operation Iraqi Freedom), and Qatar.
In 2008, he was selected for assignment to Patrol Squadron THIRTY (Pro’s Nest) as a FRS Instructor Pilot in Jacksonville, FL. While onboard, he served as the Power Plant Branch Officer, Flight Officer, Weapons Tactics Instructor (WTI), and the FRS Pilot Training Officer.
In 2011, he reported aboard USS NIMITZ in Everett, WA, where he served as the Assistant Operations Officer, Anti-Terrorism Watch Officer, Officer Of the Deck Underway, and Command Duty Officer Underway in the Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean.
In 2013, CDR Erler transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon and subsequently joined Patrol Squadron SIXTEEN (War Eagles) where he served as the Assistant Admin Officer, Training Officer, Commander Task Group 72.2 Operations Officer, and Operations Officer while deployed to the Japan.
In 2016, CDR Erler reported to Aviation Distribution Officer (PERS-43) at the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, TN, where he served as the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force Placement Officer (MPRF).
His military decorations include the Navy Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and various campaign/unit awards.