Rear Adm. (ret) Mark R. Milliken, a native of Carlisle, Pa., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in June of 1975. In October 1976, during his advanced flight training in Airborne Tactical Data Systems for the E-2C Hawkeye, he was designated a Naval Flight Officer. Rear Adm. Milliken's first assignment was with the "Steeljaws" of VAW-122, where he deployed in USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and USS Independence (CV 62). In 1980 he was assigned to the "Greyhawks" of VAW-120 as an instructor and model manager for the E-2C. From 1983 through 1985, Rear Adm. Milliken served as the Operations Officer with the "Tigertails" of VAW-125 deploying in USS Saratoga (CV 60). In September 1985, Rear Adm. Milliken reported as the Personal Aide to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C., and in March 1987, he served as the Flag Lieutenant and Personal Aide to the Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Southern Europe and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe in Naples, Italy. Rear Adm. Milliken reported to the "Bluetails" of VAW-121 as the Executive Officer in October 1988 and assumed command the following year. During his command the "Bluetails" flew as the Airborne Early Warning platform deployed in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) during Operation Desert Shield. While under his command, the "Bluetails" were awarded the "Battle E", the Airborne Early Warning Excellence Award, and Meritorious Unit Citation. From February 1991 through January 1992, Rear Adm. Milliken commanded Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School. In June of 1992 he reported to USS Constellation (CV 64) where he served as the Executive Officer. From February 1994 until November 1994, Rear Adm. Milliken served as the Chief of Staff for Commander, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Wing Pacific. In December 1994, he assumed command of USS LaSalle (AGF 3), the Sixth Fleet Flag/Command Ship, homeported in Gaeta, Italy. In May 1996, Rear Adm. Milliken was assigned as the Seventh Fleet Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, and on Aug. 12, 1997 assumed command of USS Independence (CV 62), both assignments were in Yokosuka, Japan. Under his command, Independence was awarded the "Battle E." He decommissioned Independence on Sept. 30, 1998 and transferred to the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe, Mons, Belgium, for duty as the Executive Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe/Commander in Chief, U.S. European Command. In November 2000, Rear Adm. Milliken reported to United States Naval Forces Central Command for assignment as the Deputy Commander, stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Fla. Rear Adm. Milliken's final assignment was as the Director, Navy International Programs Office where he reported to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) for all Department of the Navy International Programs, including Foreign Military Sales, Security Assistance, International Cooperative Programs, and Technology Transfer. Rear Adm. Milliken’s decorations include Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 awards), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards) and various campaign and unit awards.