RDML Michael W. Baze
Director of Maritime Headquarters U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
Rear Adm. Baze is a San Antonio, Texas native, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Rice University. He commissioned through Aviation Officer Candidate School in 1990 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1992.
He deployed multiple times flying the SH-60B in support of detachment and carrier operations during Operations IRAQI and ENDURING FREEDOM—assigned to HSL 45 in San Diego, California from June 1992 to 1996 as a first tour pilot, and HSL 47 in San Diego from June 2002 to October 2004 as the Safety and NATOPs Officer, Det FIVE Officer in Charge, and Squadron Maintenance Officer. He also served as a Flight Instructor, Operations and Administrative Officer twice at HSL 41 in San Diego from July 1996 to March 1998, and September 2001 to June 2002.
Rear Adm. Baze was the Aide to the President, Board of Inspection and Survey in Norfolk, Virginia from April 1998 to August 1999. He then earned a Master of Science in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California from 1999 to 2001; serving also as an Associate Fellow on the CNO’s Strategic Studies Group during this period.
His significant staff assignments have included service on the Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. as an Action Officer in the J-3 Joint Operations Division, and then as Aide to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff From January 2005 to November 2006. From March 2010 to February 2012 he served as the Deputy Director for Aviation Distribution and Head Air Combat Placement Officer at Navy Personnel Command and later became the Director of Aviation Warfare Distribution (PERS-43) from December 2016 to July 2019 in Millington, Tennessee.
In command, Rear Adm. Baze has led the men and women of HSL-45 and USS AMERICA (LHA 6). At HSL 45 in San Diego from August 2007 to February 2010, his squadron was awarded the Battle "E" twice, the Golden Wrench Award for Maintenance Excellence, and the Commander, Pacific Fleet Retention Excellence Award for three consecutive years. As the Executive and then Commanding Officer of the Navy’s newest amphibious assault ship, the USS AMERICA (LHA 6), from July 2012 to August 2016, he shepherded AMERICA from the early pre-commissioning phase, a C4F deployment, commissioning, first-in-class tests and trials, RIMPAC 2016 Exercise, and readiness for Joint Strike Fighter Developmental Testing-III.
In his current assignment, Rear Adm. Baze is the Director of Maritime Headquarters (N4/5/8/9) supporting naval component theater engagement development, resource programing and operational planning in support of U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command.
He is authorized to wear the Legion of Merit (two awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (five awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and multiple joint, unit and campaign awards.