Rear Admiral Alan T. Baker, CHC, USN, is Deputy Chief of Navy Chaplains and 16th Chaplain of the United States Marine Corps. Baker is the first graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy or former Surface Warfare Officer to serve as a Chaplain Corps Flag Officer.
A native of Santa Ana, Calif., Baker graduated with merit from the Naval Academy in 1978 and reported to USS Brooke (FFG 1) for his first sea tour. He returned to the Naval Academy in 1981 as an instructor in the Department of Professional Development. Answering the call to ministry in 1984, Baker transferred to the Naval Reserve while attending seminary. Graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in 1987, Baker was ordained by the Reformed Church in America and recalled to active duty as a Navy chaplain.
His first Chaplain Corps assignment was as a Ship's Chaplain of USS Richmond K. Turner (CG 20) in which he deployed to the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Earnest Will escorts of reflagged Kuwaiti tankers. Baker reported for service with the United States Marines in 1990. During combat operations to liberate Kuwait in the first Gulf War, he provided ministry in the field to the Marines and supporting units of Marine Aircraft Group-11. In 1992, Baker began three years on staff at the Naval Chaplains School as primary instructor and administrator for the Chaplain Basic Course providing initial training to newly commissioned Navy Chaplains. Following a tour as chaplain with the United States Coast Guard in New York (1995 to 1998), Baker was ordered to the Staff of the Chief of Navy Chaplains in Washington, D.C., where he served as Branch Head of Chaplain Corps Professional Development. In 2001 he reported as Command Chaplain of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) with additional duties as Carrier Strike Group Chaplain in Operation Enduring Freedom.
In 2003, Baker assumed duties as Senior Chaplain Corps detailer at the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Millington, Tenn., where he was responsible for world-wide assignments of chaplains throughout the Sea Services. In 2004, thirty years after arriving as a Plebe, Baker returned to the United States Naval Academy as Command Chaplain, where he was responsible for religious support to the 4,300-member Brigade of Midshipmen as well as management of the Academy's historic chapels. Baker holds a Doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts and is a Master Training Specialist as designated by the Navy Chief of Education and Training (NETC). He has an additional professional subspecialty in Education and Training Management.
Baker’s personal decorations include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medals (one with Combat “V” device), two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, and two Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medals.